The Ice House

(OS grid reference TQ 017 625)
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The Ice House 1970's

The first record of the ice house is in the sale catalog of 1819 but it was most probably constructed before this date. Ice houses were common on 18th and 19th century estates and were used to store ice collected from local ponds in Winter. The ice had a variety of culinary and medicinal uses. It is located on the North side of Beech Hill Clump and is immediately adjacent to the Great Blackmole Pond, a considerable distance from the Mansion. This land is currently part of Wey Farm and does not form part of Ottershaw Park. It is alleged that the mound is in fact the spoil form the excavation of the Great and Little Blackmole ponds. The ice house comprised an egg-shaped structure set in an earth mound and accessed through an entrance from the North side. The 1870 OS map clearly shows a track leading away from the ice house to the Northwest. A photograph from about 1976 shows that it was brick built and according to the 1907 sale catalog it had a thatched roof. Remnants of the brick structure can still be seen in the undergrowth. By the 1990's it had been infilled by the landowners because it had become unsafe.