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HER Number:MDV60856
Name:Bicton, Ice House


Ice House at Bicton built c1800 to the east of the Fish Pond.


Grid Reference:SY 072 861
Map Sheet:SY08NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishBicton
DistrictEast Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishBICTON

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SY08NE/13/14

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • ICEHOUSE (XVIII to XXI - 1751 AD to 2009 AD (Between))

Full description

Ordnance Survey, 1880s, Ordnance Survey (Cartographic). SDV848.

Circular feature with an opening to the south shown on OS 25" (1880s & 1906) maps c25m to the east of the 'Fish Pond'. Other details: Also on OS 25" (1906) map.

Beamon, S. P. + Roaf, S., 1990, The Ice-Houses of Britain, 241 (Monograph). SDV21550.

Inside the entrance is a relieving arch on the left, the stone-flagged tunnel 7.5m long, continues towards the chamber. Width varies, 1.1m wide, except where 3 shallow recesses are inset by 0.15m deep & 1.25m long on either side. Height 2.8m for a length of 5.2m, after which it drops to 2.1m, then 1.8m as it enters the ice-well. The ice-house and tunnel are both in very good condition although a crack exists in the arched tunnel roof which was caused by the roots of a large elm tree, now felled. It is constructed of fairly soft red brick, mainly header courses. In the pit bricks are large, 0.09m, deep courses excluding mortar. Several large trees are growing on and around the mound. There is an outer tunnel built over the inner one with a 0.46m gap between. Ice-house is situated about 90m from the lake. There does not appear to be any vent at the top of the dome. It is unusual that the exit is to the southwest but the northwest wall of the tunnel has a bricked archway, which may have been the original entrance/exit. Bricked-up holes around the circumference of the pit at tunnel level, possibly to receive ends of timber which formed a staging and possible storage area. 11 holes on each side, of which the two remote ones could have housed 0.32m x 0.15m timbers. Sump appears quite deep and may even be a normal type well. A bore drain (0.21m) leads off it 0.32m below. Possible construction date, 1800. Other details: Extract.

English Heritage, 2003, Bicton House, Devon (Register of Parks and Gardens in England). SDV323703.

Exeter Archaeology, 2003-2004, East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey, Site No. 1994 (Archive - Survey). SDV351568.

Bicton House. Late 18th century mansion with extensive wings and outbuildings. Original mansion and park built 16th century on site of County prison. Now agricultural college. Listed Grade II*. 16th century deerpark Listed Grade 1. Features of interest (many with Listed Building status) within the extensive grounds include summerhouse, lodge gateposts, Palm House, Orangery, formal gardens and parkland, grotto, 19th century stone circle, forge, icehouse, ponds.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV21550Monograph: Beamon, S. P. + Roaf, S.. 1990. The Ice-Houses of Britain. The Ice-Houses of Britain. A4 Stapled + Digital. 241.
SDV323703Register of Parks and Gardens in England: English Heritage. 2003. Bicton House, Devon. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England.
SDV351568Archive - Survey: Exeter Archaeology. 2003-2004. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. East Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Archaeological Survey. Digital + Mixed Archive Material. Site No. 1994.
SDV848Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 1880s. Ordnance Survey. 25".

Associated Monuments

MDV10604Part of: Bicton House (Building)
MDV10604Related to: Bicton House (Building)
MDV32459Part of: Bicton Park (Park/Garden)
MDV10604Part of: Bicton House (Building)
MDV10604Related to: Bicton House (Building)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Oct 19 2016 11:50AM