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

A Scheduled Monument in Coniston Cold, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.9942 / 53°59'39"N

Longitude: -2.1607 / 2°9'38"W

OS Eastings: 389563.345468

OS Northings: 455362.001124

OS Grid: SD895553

Mapcode National: GBR FQC7.0Y

Mapcode Global: WHB6Z.SV9V

Entry Name: Icehouse in Coniston Hall Park, 390m south east of Coniston Hall

Scheduled Date: 15 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018706

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31346

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Coniston Cold

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Coniston Cold St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Leeds

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.

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.

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.

Source: Historic England

Sources

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

Source: Historic England

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