History in Structure

Ice House, Brodick Castle, Brodick, Arran

A Category C Listed Building in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5929 / 55°35'34"N

Longitude: -5.1522 / 5°9'8"W

OS Eastings: 201468

OS Northings: 637757

OS Grid: NS014377

Mapcode National: GBR FFNX.W7D

Mapcode Global: WH1MQ.TPR9

Plus Code: 9C7PHRVX+44

Entry Name: Ice House, Brodick Castle, Brodick, Arran

Listing Name: Brodick Castle Estate, Ice House

Listing Date: 8 August 1995

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 338475

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB6775

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200338475

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Parish: Kilbride

Traditional County: Buteshire

Tagged with: Icehouse

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Probably 18th or early 19th century. Domed structure under earthen mound, with low retaining walls of ashlar to each side of entrance. Timber door with barred opening. INTERIOR: Ashlar lined vaulted chamber with concave floor. Voissoirs to each side of hatch in vault.

Statement of Interest

Part of A Group at Brodick Castle Estate comprising: Brodick Castle; Bavarian Summerhouse; Cnocan Burn Road Bridge; Greenhyde and Castle Cottages; Ice House; Walled Garden; the Nursery; Main Gates, West Gates and Coastal Boundary Walls; South Gates; Sylvania and Brodick Kennels.

This ice house is an important ancillary component of the Brodick Castle Estate and is a good example of its type and period. Ice houses were integral features of country estates in the 18th and 19th centuries. They served as cold stores for food, which would be hung on hooks above packed ice collected from ponds and rivers and were usually earthed over and covered with vegetation to increase insulation. This is an example of the classic Scottish ice house design, having an egg-shaped chamber of stone approached by a tunnel.

In the early 20th century, the Brodick Castle Estate Ice House was filled with rubble and covered over. It was excavated in the 1970s but the approach corridor collapsed and was removed, leaving the lower courses as retaining walls. A photograph, dated 1993, shows the entrance with a barred metal gate that preceeded the current timber door.

Brodick Castle Estate, now a discreet entity, was originally the nucleus of the Lands of Arran. Fought over during the Scottish War of Independence, it was transformed into an Earldom and granted to James Hamilton by his cousin, King James IV, in 1503. The Isle of Arran remained as one of the minor estates of the Dukes of Hamilton until the late 19th century. Agricultural improvements in the 18th century, culminating in the clearances of the early 19th century, eventually displaced the small scale and subsistence farming on the island. In the mid-19th, improved transportation made Brodick an attractive picturesque resort and hunting destination for the Hamiltons and the castle was substantially rebuilt with the area around it laid out as gardens and pleasure grounds. On the death of the 12th Duke, in 1895, Brodick passed to the future Duchess of Montrose. In 1957 the Castle and the policies immediately surrounding were conveyed to the National Trust for Scotland.

List description revised as part of the National Trust for Scotland Estates Review, 2010-11.

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