Icehouse in Coniston Hall Park, 390m south east of Coniston Hall

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018706

Date first listed: 15-Feb-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Icehouse in Coniston Hall Park, 390m south east of Coniston Hall
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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This copy shows the entry on 15-Nov-2018 at 22:50:50.

Location

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

County: North Yorkshire

District: Craven (District Authority)

Parish: Coniston Cold

National Grid Reference: SD 89563 55363

Summary

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.

The icehouse at Coniston Hall is a large and well preserved example of this class of monument. It retains a wide range of internal features and fittings demonstrating the workings of the icehouse.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the remains of an icehouse, located on gently sloping land on the south side of Coniston Lake. The icehouse was one of the features of the landscaped park of Coniston. Originally built by the Garforth family in the mid-19th century, it served to keep ice and house game. The icehouse is a brick built underground chamber reached by a stone and brick passageway. Entry is by stone steps down to a dressed stone doorway which leads on to a stone built passage. The passage extends for 3.5m to a second door set on a bend in the passage. Beyond this door, the passage is built of brick and extends for 2m to two small doorways 1.2m apart and 1.1m high, the last of which opens directly into the ice chamber. The height of the passage becomes gradually lower along its length. The ice chamber has a domed roof 3m in diameter and is 9m from apex to floor. The floor of the chamber is stone flagged. The passage emerges into the chamber approximately 6m above the floor. There is a drainage channel set in the floor of the chamber. On the left side of the passage, after the bend, is a stone shelf with a set of iron hooks above which were probably used to store game. Above the doorway into the ice chamber is an iron pole attached to the ceiling which was used in the loading of the icehouse. Also surviving are the heavy iron fittings surrounding the doors. The sequence of doors and diminishing dimensions of the passage added further insulation to the ice chamber. The bricks used to build the icehouse are thought to have been made by the Coniston Hall estate. The wooden barrier around the entrance is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 31346

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
Mrs Bannister, (1998)
OAU, EH Step Report, (1998)

End of official listing