Author Topic: Icehouse :  (Read 541 times)

Offline Iain...

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
    • View Profile
Icehouse :
« on: Wednesday 21 September 22 09:26 BST (UK) »
Good morning everyone…

I’ve posted this just in the off-chance that someone may have seen something like this near Great Granddad’s icehouse.  If so, any idea what this granite block was used for ? 
Let me explain…

This underground room can be found in the Hougoumont farm at Waterloo.  I live nearby. 
It was not part of the chateau, and it is not deep enough to be a well. (there are two nearby wells and the water level is much deeper)  And it is certainly too small for it to be an icehouse. 
However, some friends say that it could have been a room to stock the ice taken from an icehouse, which was probably situated somewhere outside the domain.  Such a room could then have facilitated easy access to the ice, while rendering it a ‘cool room’ to conserve foodstuffs. 
If this was the case, then we could be looking at something linked to child labour, as the access hole is only 18-inches wide. 

If this room was used to stock blocks of ice, and if children were sent down to bring it up, (in pieces) is it possible that that granite block in the far corner was used to crush the ice ?
If we look carefully, it has a rounded underside.  And it doesn’t need much imagination to visualize a young lad standing on it like a seesaw, while another pushes the ice under one end to have it crushed. 
Or was there another use for it ?

Thanks in advance…, Iain. 
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline still_looking

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 657
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 21 September 22 15:52 BST (UK) »
The potential proximity to wells reminded me of something I read recently about the underground storage/cellars of the Pennsylvania 'Dutch' where wells were used to assist with cooling. That said shouldn't both cellars/storage or ice houses have easier access? Also, how far would the ice be coming from? Does the Lasnes river freeze in winter?

Scroll down to Volume 11 No. 2 for the cellar description.

https://digitalcommons.ursinus.edu/pafolklifemag/index.6.html

S_L

Offline Iain...

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 22 September 22 08:39 BST (UK) »
Thank you SL…, very interesting. 

I’m certainly no icehouse expert, although the little I’ve read so far does tell me that they need a good drainage system. (for logical reasons)  We have one close to my house and belongs to the local mansion, and as you say, this is just next to a river.

However, Hougoumont was built on a low plateau, meaning that the wells needed to be deep.
In the meantime, the artist Denis Dighton painted the northern exterior side of the chateau’s cidery building, and painted what looks like an icehouse.  This was situated higher than the annual floods, and has a nearby roadside ditch for drainage.  Via the famous Northgate which was breached by the French, this ‘icehouse’ and the ‘cool room’ is about 100-yards apart.   

But as you say, access difficulties obviously point to child labour.  Lol…, had I been that 3xGr Grandfather with my midriff bulge, I could certainly never walk its floor.  Which is ‘spongy’ following 200 years.

I’m friends with many in the ‘Waterloo Uncovered’ team. (soldier archaeologists)  I’ll ask them to take a look next year.

Thanks again SL… 
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline Ray T

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,349
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #3 on: Friday 23 September 22 09:13 BST (UK) »
Certainly unlike any icehouse I’ve ever come across. As Iain says, they need a drainage system and the floors are usually built inthe form of an inverted cone. To me, it looks rather like an oubliette.


Offline Iain...

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #4 on: Friday 23 September 22 09:48 BST (UK) »
Thank you Ray… 
That’s what I thought at the start. (with the long stone being something to sit on)  However, the access hole is far too small for any pot-bellied villain.  I know one man who went down and he’s as thin as a rake. 
I think this was more of a cool room to store foodstuffs.  However, the curved stone remains a mystery. 
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline Ray T

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,349
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 24 September 22 08:55 BST (UK) »
Going back to basics, I assume that the structure was built largely above ground and then covered over - I can’t imagine that someone would have excavated the cavity and constructed it through a small hole in the roof! Consequently, there must be, or once have been, another entrance.

Offline Iain...

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 583
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 24 September 22 10:25 BST (UK) »
Not as far as I know Ray.  I will be visiting the site next month to find its exact position relative to the chapel.  This is just a hole with a brick lining and vaulted roof.

You can see more details concerning the renovation in this URL. (quarter way down)
https://www.brania.net/recherches/reportages/la-chapelle-du-goumont/

Sorry everyone..., this isn't quite genealogy.  I just thought that someone could have put a name to it.
Have a nice weekend.   
McArthur - Campbeltown and Tiree Scotland
Black - Campbeltown Scotland - Rathlin Ireland
MacFarlane - Tiree
Wood / Boorman / Gimber / Lee... KENT
Dennett / Mase / Varrier /  Over... KENT

Offline Ray T

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,349
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Icehouse :
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 24 September 22 12:55 BST (UK) »
Ever heard about the keyhole surgeon who wallpapered his hall, stairs and landing through the letterbox?  ;D