In the days before refrigeration, icehouses were designed to store ice in bulk for summertime use. This book examines icehouses in Britain, where they were built in increasing numbers from the early seventeenth century, initially to provide chilled refreshment for the wealthy. By the mid nineteenth century most country estates would have had one. Their design improved as scientific knowledge increased and, although the majority of icehouses remained plain, some exuberant structures were built. Commercial icehouses were erected to serve confectioners, grocers and the fishing industry, for which huge quantities of ice were imported from North America and Norway. A study of both the use and architecture of icehouses, this book sheds light on these fascinating buildings.
This is a new, revised and extended version of the book using new research on icehouses from country houses, and including more information on some of the commercial icehouses, for example those used to preserve fish in great warehouses in Scottish fishing centres.