Often hidden away or incorporated into other architectural features, icehouses are a largely forgotten part of our heritage. As winters warmed through the nineteenth century, and supplies of natural ice declined, the development of artificial refrigeration made redundant these curious buildings ? often status symbols in themselves ? which had been designed to store winter snow and ice into the summer. Icehouses allowed perishables to be preserved, chilled delicacies to be enjoyed, and fevers to be relieved ? and on a commercial scale they fed an international trade that carried snow from mountain peaks and ice from frozen lakes to supply the needs of industry, markets and householders. In this illustrated introduction, Tim Buxbaum explains how icehouses developed; how, when and where they were built; and how they operated, including a chapter on icehouses from around the world.