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Latitude: 55.8822 / 55°52'55"N
Longitude: -2.9756 / 2°58'32"W
OS Eastings: 339065
OS Northings: 665875
OS Grid: NT390658
Mapcode National: GBR 70NF.L7
Mapcode Global: WH7V7.8F90
Entry Name: Preston Hall Policies, Icehouse
Listing Date: 14 September 1979
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 331203
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB778
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Midlothian East
Traditional County: Midlothian
Late 18th century. Free-standing cup and dome estate icehouse with single wing wall. Partly lime rendered with ashlar long and short quoins, sills and copes, rubble sandstone walls and brick interior.
NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: boarded timber door within plain entrance doorway set in curved wall with flat copes: right wall full size sinking into natural hillside; left wall ending abruptly and adjoining low rubble and brick wing wall with flat copes set at ninety degrees.
Concealed by an artificial turfed earth mound with trees surmounting.
INTERIOR: passageway leading to inner doorway with sloped lintel; domed brick chamber beyond.
Icehouses were generally sited near to a source of ice, in this case situated on the E bank of the Tyne Water. As with most icehouses of the late 18th century, it is plain and faces (almost) north. It is sited at the top of a bank to facilitate drainage, to the west of the walled garden. It is part of a group of parkland structures linked to Preston Hall, a mansion rebuilt on the site of an earlier house. The icehouse is a good example of a type found in the Lothians. Foodstuffs were placed on a straw floor over the packed ice but these structures tended to go out of fashion by the 19th century, when it was feasible to import ice from America and Scandinavia. It was realistic that once packed with ice, it could remain cool for as long as three years.
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