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Claremont Ice House

A Grade II Listed Building in Esher, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3594 / 51°21'33"N

Longitude: -0.3771 / 0°22'37"W

OS Eastings: 513092

OS Northings: 163509

OS Grid: TQ130635

Mapcode National: GBR 4W.5MG

Mapcode Global: VHFV5.F306

Entry Name: Claremont Ice House

Listing Date: 1 November 2007

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1436165

Location: Elmbridge, Surrey, KT10

County: Surrey

District: Elmbridge

Electoral Ward/Division: Esher

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Esher

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Esher

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

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Listing Text

PORTSMOUTH ROAD

Esher
Claremont Ice House

GV II

Ice house. Early C18, it is marked on the Claremont estate in Campbell’s Vitruvius Brittanicus (1725) and Rocque’s estate map of 1738.

MATERIALS: Soft hand-made red brick, some burnt. The inner face of the dome is of alternating courses of stretcher and header bond, reducing to header bond towards the apex.

PLAN: It is an early example of the cup and dome type, the most common form for the period. It is set against a north-facing bank, with the passage facing roughly north. The chamber is approx. 5.18m in diameter, the passage approx. 3m long. The inner diameter of the cup is smaller than that of the dome, creating an inner lip at ground level. The cup survives intact although silted up. An iron pipe set into the north side of the cup descends to the base, but is now hidden by debris. The southern half of the dome, including the apex, remains, but the northern section was destroyed by vandals in 1969. The right-hand wall of the passage stands to vault height, the left-hand wall survives less well. Sections of the barrel-vaulted roof remain intact on the ground. There are minor C19 repairs in brick to the right hand of the entrance.
HISTORY: The ice house is first mentioned in the early C18. It appears on a plan of the Claremont estate in Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus of 1725 and Rocque’s estate map of 1738, both showing the landscaped gardens in detail. Claremont remains one of the most important early C18 landscapes with structures by Sir John Vanbrugh, William Kent and Charles Bridgeman. Vanbrugh bought the site c 1709 building a small villa for himself. Circa 1711 he sold it to Thomas Pelham-Holles, Earl Clare, from whom the estate derives its name. He in turn employed Vanbrugh, Bridgman and Kent to enlarge the house and lay out the grounds. In 1769 the estate was sold to Lord Clive for whom Lancelot (Capability) Brown laid out the park. He replaced the house with the current mansion, by Henry Holland, set higher up the hill commanding views to north and south. The ice house lies on the northern fringe of the park by the Portsmouth Road, secluded from the grounds at the northern end of the North Terrace. The pond is visible from the house. It is very well documented, clearly marked on the Claremont estate plan (Vitruvius Britannicus 1725), Rocque’s plan and on later estate maps. These show changes in the shape of the ice pond. This provides a valuable insight into the role of the ice house and pond, both as functional and ornamental objects, and their perceived position in the landscape.
REASONS FOR DESIGNATION
Although part of the superstructure is missing this is a rare example of a well-documented early C18 ice house.
Sufficient fabric remains to gauge the plan and structure of the ice house.
The ice pond survives.
It is an element of this outstanding early C18 historic landscape, and with its ice pond is included in the Grade I registered landscape.

SOURCES:
National Trust, Claremont (2000)
Sylvia Beamon & Susan Roaf, Ice Houses of Britain (1990), p 407
English Heritage, Monuments Protection Programme, Step 1 report. Ice Houses (1995)
Kim Wilkie Associates with Paul Drury Partnership, Claremont Conservation & Management Plan (2005)
English Heritage, ‘Register of Parks & Gardens of Special Historic Interest’: GD 1266, Claremont

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

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