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Ice House 183m west-north-west of Killerton House

A Grade II Listed Building in Broad Clyst, Devon

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Latitude: 50.7919 / 50°47'30"N

Longitude: -3.4607 / 3°27'38"W

OS Eastings: 297141

OS Northings: 100163

OS Grid: SS971001

Mapcode National: GBR LK.ZF2G

Mapcode Global: FRA 37M0.5KR

Entry Name: Ice House 183m west-north-west of Killerton House

Listing Date: 20 May 1985

Last Amended: 7 February 2018

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1098333

English Heritage Legacy ID: 88418

Location: Broad Clyst, East Devon, Devon, EX5

County: Devon

District: East Devon

Civil Parish: Broad Clyst

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

Church of England Parish: Broadclyst St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Exeter

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Listing Text


2/105 Ice House 220 metres north
- north west of Killerton House

- II

Ice house. Circa 1808. Built by the garden designer and horticulturist, John
Veitch. Brick-lined ice house, circular in plan with conical roof, about 7 metres
high (and able to hold 40 tons of ice), with brick floor and drain and three rack-
grooves. Covered externally by rockery, and approached through rockery and dry-
stone walled entrance with massive rock hewn lintel and brick lined passageway.

Listing NGR: SS9713400212

This text is from the original listing, and may not necessarily reflect the current setting of the building.


Ice house. Built around 1808 by garden designer and horticulturist, John Veitch, for Sir Thomas Acland. Incorporated within a rock garden in around 1900.


Ice house. Built around 1808 by garden designer and horticulturist, John Veitch, for Sir Thomas Acland. Incorporated within a rock garden in around 1900.

It is constructed primarily of brick, with limestone rubble facing to entrance tunnel and later passage.

Circular in plan with a covered entrance tunnel; approached from the south-west via a passageway.

The ice house is approached from the south-west by an open passage, added around 1900, which is cut into the slope and has retaining walls of limestone rubble. It consists of a brick-built entrance tunnel and the subterranean ice chamber which is covered externally with earth that acts as an insulating layer. It is circular in plan. The angled entrance has a surround of rough-hewn limestone blocks and a large stone lintel; it leads into the brick-lined, brick-floored, entrance tunnel with an arched roof. At the end of this is a second, narrower entrance which has a modern metal grille. It gives access onto the brick-lined ice chamber which has a domed roof. Its walls have three concentric rack-grooves, each over 1m apart, which may have supported timber floors and possibly a timber lining. The brick floor is some 4m below the entrance and has an octagonal drain at its centre from which runs a drainage channel that exits below the southern wall.


Icehouses are subterranean structures designed specifically to store ice, usually removed in winter from ponds, and used in the summer for preserving food and cooling drinks. Thousands of icehouses have been built in England since the early C17. These were initially built only by the upper level of society, but by the end of the C18 they were commonplace, and continued to be built throughout the C19. Icehouses only became obsolete after the introduction of domestic refrigerators in the early C20.

The present Killerton House (Grade II*) was built in 1778-79 by Sir Thomas Acland, to a design by John Johnson, originally as a temporary residence, though it ultimately became a permanent residence which was later altered and extended. At around the same time, Sir Thomas employed the garden designer and horticulturist, John Veitch, to lay out a landscape park at Killerton. From 1808 Veitch also developed pleasure grounds to the west and north-east of the house on land enclosed from the late-C18 park. The garden was further ornamented by features in the various styles of the day, including an ice house and a summerhouse (the nearby Bear’s Hut, Grade II*), built in about 1808 and 1809 respectively.

The ice house was constructed into the slope of a former quarry and when completed was able to store a maximum capacity of 40 tons of ice. During the winter months ice was taken from nearby ponds and stored in the ice house in order to provide Killerton House with ice throughout the year to help keep perishable goods cool. It is recorded that when the ice-house was filled in 1809 the task took 30 men more than five days to complete. In about 1900 it was incorporated into a rock garden that was created in the former quarry by head gardener John Coutts. At the same time a passage with stone-faced retaining walls was added at the entrance to the ice house and the roof was covered over and hidden from view by a rockery. In more recent times a metal grill has been fitted across the inner entrance.

Reasons for Listing

Ice House 183m west-north-west of Killerton House, at Killerton Park, built about 1808 and incorporated into a rock garden in the early C20, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

Architectural interest:
* As a skilfully-constructed and well-preserved domed icehouse built for a private estate.

Historic interest:
* It forms part of the Killerton Estate, and was built for Sir Thomas Acland by the garden designer and horticulturist, John Veitch.

Group value:
* It retains its historic relationships with Killerton House (Grade II*) , its pleasure grounds and park (Registered at Grade II*) which give the ice house its original estate context and good group value.

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