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Preston Hall Policies, Icehouse

A Category C Listed Building in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Coordinates

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

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331203

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB778

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cranston

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Parish: Cranston

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Prestonpans

Description

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.

Statement of Interest

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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