Baby it’s cold…..inside!

Whilst very seasonal, the recent cold weather caused a heating pipe to burst in the History Centre Reading Room. We have been closed since the beginning of December and the last few weeks here at the History Centre have been trying for both customers and colleagues.

We expect to be closed to the public for a few more weeks whilst repair work on the heating continues. However we are making exceptions for students who have dissertation deadlines looming and for customers who need to access building plans for emergency purposes.

But there is no escape from the cold here at the History Centre! Putting other items away I had a wry smile at this news cutting about the demolition of an 18th century ice-house in Styvechale.

The chilly article in the local paper

The ice-house was part of Styvechale Hall, home of the Gregory family who owned the land for over 400 years. The ice house would have been used to store the family’s food just like our fridges today. According to the article the ice-house was filled with ice from local ponds and brooks cut during the winter. The thick walls of the ice-house prevented the ice from melting too quickly. Our weather this winter would have been perfect!

The ice-house was large enough to be recorded on past Ordnance Survey maps – the map below shows the ice-house and Styvechale Hall in 1925.

Styvechale Hall was demolished after World War II but the ice-house survived until 1963 when houses in Knoll Croft, off Knoll Drive were built.

Map detailing the location of the Ice House – click to enlarge


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Posted on 04/02/2011, in History Centre and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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