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Ice house at Ascott House, 190m north west of Ascott Farm

List Entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Ice house at Ascott House, 190m north west of Ascott Farm

List entry Number: 1020969

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Oxfordshire

District: South Oxfordshire

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Stadhampton

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 16-Jul-2003

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 30849

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

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 ice house at Ascott House, 190m north west of Ascott Farm is notable on account of the early date of the building and unusual because of its two storey construction and dual purpose, serving two functions which are more commonly accommodated in separate buildings. It retains many internal features and although restored, has not lost its archaeological integrity. The structure shows a carefully planned strategy for storing food stuff: grain throughout the winter and perishable goods throughout the warmer months of the year. It provides a fascinating insight into the household management of Ascott House, and into how the developing tastes and expectations of its inhabitants could be met by the technology of the period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes an early and unusual combined ice house and granary situated close to a later dovecote within the grounds of Ascott House. The ice house, which is a Listed Building Grade II, was constructed in the 1660s as part of a planned layout including a house which unfortunately burned down before completion. The finished ice house was retained and incorporated into later phases of the park's design. The structure is octagonal in plan and stands two storeys high with the lower floor occupied by the ice house and the upper floor by the granary. The ice house chamber measures 7.5m high internally beneath a domed roof which forms the support for the granary floor above. The chamber floor is partly subterranean and is entered by means of a passageway with doors at the internal (bottom) and external (top) ends, linked by a flight of eight steps. The ice chamber contains a central drain 1m in diameter, built into the floor and fed by a gulley, both of which are constructed of brick. The granary above has an identical floor plan to the ice house but includes a series of vents set in the walls below the roof line. The roof is supported by a wooden frame and is thatched. The building was restored in 1975.

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.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Hansell, P, Hansell, J, Doves and Dovecotes, (1988), 208
Other
OXFORDSHIRE 2, O.A.U., MPP Ice House Assessment, (1997)

National Grid Reference: SU 61220 98214

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2017. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2017. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1020969 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 22-Nov-2017 at 07:16:13.

End of official listing