Ancient Monuments

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Icehouse 260m north west of Castle Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Filleigh, Devon

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Latitude: 51.0416 / 51°2'29"N

Longitude: -3.8997 / 3°53'58"W

OS Eastings: 266916.022307

OS Northings: 128631.798215

OS Grid: SS669286

Mapcode National: GBR KY.GPWX

Mapcode Global: FRA 26QC.GKV

Entry Name: Icehouse 260m north west of Castle Hill

Scheduled Date: 11 July 1997

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015464

English Heritage Legacy ID: 28624

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Filleigh

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Filleigh St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Exeter


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

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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.

Source: Historic England


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)

Source: Historic England

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