Hopton Hall ice house
Hopton Hall ice house is a grade II listed building described in British Listed Buildings as -
Icehouse. Late C18. Gritstone. Circular icehouse with domed roof, short access
passage half way up. Overall depth 7.5 m. In poor state of repair with dome
exposed and passage partially collapsed.
Ice houses were buildings that were commonly used on large estates prior to the invention of the refrigerator to store ice throughout the year. Their construction varied, some being underground chambers but many were buildings with various types of insulation,, usually located close to natural sources of winter ice such as freshwater lakes.
During the winter, ice and snow would be taken into the ice house and packed with insulation, often straw or sawdust. It would remain frozen for many months, often until the following winter, and could be used as a source of ice during summer months. The main application of the ice was the storage of perishable foods, but it could also be used simply to cool drinks, or allow ice-cream and sorbet desserts to be prepared.
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