Archive for July 27, 2013

Before the invention of refrigerators and freezers, many country houses would have a ice well. These would be brick built with a domed roof and would be built into the ground. The ice, which would be cut from a nearby lake, would be packed inside. The well worked by keeping the cold in and excluding the warmth,and thus ice was available to house all year round. Experiments have shown that ice in these wells could remain frozen for up to 2 years.

The example which we have now in Tarn Park was the ice well from nearby Eltham Lodge ( now the clubhouse of the Royal Blackheath golf course) and dates from around about 1760.