Icehouse 260m north west of Castle Hill


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015464

Date first listed: 11-Jul-1997


Ordnance survey map of Icehouse 260m north west of Castle Hill
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This copy shows the entry on 20-Oct-2018 at 01:51:22.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Devon

District: North Devon (District Authority)

Parish: Filleigh

National Grid Reference: SS 66916 28632


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Icehouses are subterranean structures designed specifically to store ice, usually removed in winter from ponds and used in the summer for preserving food and cooling drinks. Thousands of icehouses have been built in England since the early 17th century. These were initially built only by the upper level of society, but by the end of the 18th century they were commonplace. They continued to be built throughout the 19th century, when huge examples were established by the fishing industry, as well as for use in towns. Icehouses only became obsolete after the introduction of domestic refrigerators in the early 20th century. Of the thousands originally built, some 1500 icehouses have been positively identified through a combination of archaeological and documentary research. Although a relatively common class, most recorded examples with surviving remains will be considered to be of national interest and appropriate for consideration for either scheduling or listing. They are also generally regarded as a significant component of local distinctiveness and character.

Despite damage to its upper levels, the icehouse 260m north west of Castle Hill survives comparatively well and forms part of a well preserved group of structures associated with Castle Hill House.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


This monument includes an icehouse in the grounds of Castle Hill, set into a hillside known as Ice House Hill, 83m west of Filleigh Brook, 59m north of a disused quarry and 260m north west of Castle Hill House. The monument survives as a D-shaped flat topped platform set into the side of a hill. This measures 22.6m long, 10.8m wide at the widest point and up to 1.6m high. The entrance is at the northern end, facing east towards the track. This consists of two parallel banks 1m apart measuring 2.5m long, 2.3m wide and up to 0.4m high. The banks in this area are particularly stony and some stones have traces of mortar adhering to their surfaces. A contemporary drawing of the icehouse shows it to be a partly submerged feature, and this is corroborated by the field evidence. The area to the east and downslope often becomes waterlogged some time after heavy rain: the water is being pooled before eventually soaking away, confirming the existence of a submerged chamber and drainage system. A nearby spring and the area to the west of the Filleigh Brook which is known to flood may have provided a source of ice. The icehouse is indicated in this area according to the Tithe Map. It was built by the First Earl Fortescue in 1790 and clearly shown on the 1790 Field Map, apparently surrounded by trees as described in the contemporary literature.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28624

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Colvin, , Moggridge, , Castle Hill: Summary and evaluation of History, (1991)
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SS62NE34, (1983)
MPP fieldwork by H. Gerrard, (1995)

End of official listing