Rare ice house found in the garden of a March visitor attraction
- Credit: Archant
A VICTORIAN structure, believed to be a rare ice house, has been unearthed in the gardens of a March visitor attraction.
The underground brick structure was uncovered as staff dug at the back of Fossils Galore to create a children’s summer holiday gold panning activity.
As the hole reached about a metre deep volunteer Daniel Courten hit brick and began to see a dome shape.
Owner Jamie Jordan said the underground igloo could put March on the map as it is extremely rare to find an ice house in the UK in such good condition.
The structures were used by affluent home owners as giant freezers for food in Victorian times by stacking ice blocks on shelves and packing around them with straw and sawdust.
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The buildings had to be buried deep so that the earth surrounding it would maintain a constant temperature and not melt the ice.
The ice house is considered a rare find as such structures are mainly used for large manor houses and any found are usually in a state of disrepair.
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Mr Jordan said: “This is a really exciting find and something we want to make sure we preserve for the future.
“We have found pottery that appears to be from a wealthy home which would give further evidence for it being an ice house in the grounds of a manor house.”
Mr Jordan is appealing for anyone with local knowledge to help find out more about the structure’s background.
“We know this site was a brewery in the 1800s but don’t know much more - we would love to find out the history of this structure,” he said.