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The Ice House


The Ice House was part of the facilities of Hale Hall and is situated in the woods close by the hall's Home Farm. There is very little to see now but a mound covered in sylvan undergrowth. The entrance can hardly be seen through the shrubs and is sealed by a locked iron door.


Ice houses were old-time refrigerators. They were usually subterranean with a lining of straw forming thermal insulation against the vaulted brick roof and walls. The ice was provided by a nearby pond, which might have been specially dug out for the purpose. Usually, though, it was easier to build an ice house near a suitable existing pond. This seems to have been the case at Hale Hall, since the ice house is at least a hundred yards from the nearest point of Home Farm and even further from the hall itself.


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