Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 21°C

min temp: 16°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Ipswich: Victorian ‘igloo’ discovered in Holywells Park

15:00 23 January 2013

An ice house dating back to Victorian times has been found in Holywells park. An ice house is an underground freezer. The victorians used to take the ice from the top of ponds in the park and put it in the ice house to keep food and drink fresh.

An ice house dating back to Victorian times has been found in Holywells park. An ice house is an underground freezer. The victorians used to take the ice from the top of ponds in the park and put it in the ice house to keep food and drink fresh.

Archant

THE frosty conditions of late provided the perfect setting for the discovery of a hidden gem at an historic Ipswich park.

Archaeologists spent a day on site in Holywells Park after a lost underground igloo – which would last have been used as a freezer for food in Victorian times – was unearthed.

The large brick building was found underground near to the Stable Block, despite not featuring on maps of the park or of Ipswich.

Rumours of an ice house on the grounds have been circulating for years, prompting the borough council to locate it as part of its bid for Heritage Lottery Funding worth £2.8million.

And if the park gets the grant, which would pay for a massive transformation on the grounds, the ice house could be developed and opened for public viewing.

It is thought ice would have been taken from the nearby ponds at the park and put into the ice house, where food could be kept at a constant temperature.

Rhod Gardener, head of the archaeology contracts for Suffolk County Council, told The Ipswich Star that ice houses were only ever found on the grounds of large manors and houses.

“It would date back to around the 17th and 18th centuries,” he said. “We were called in to investigate the area with the borough council wanting to discover it as part of the bid for funding.

“There are now hopes to continue the excavation further and then possibly open it up to the public.

“It is an interesting find because of the fact that this one wasn’t on any maps and that it was considered lost.”

Although similar structures have also been discovered in St Joseph’s College and in Christchurch Park, the ice house is considered a rare find as such buildings were mainly used for large manor houses.

It is thought the one in Holywells Park would have been built by the Cobbold family, who lived on the site.

Richard Sharp, the borough council’s community engagement and volunteer officer for parks and open spaces, said: “We knew it existed, we just didn’t know where.

“So pushed on by the bid for funding we started asking local residents if they knew where it was. Some came back and said they had discovered it back in the 70s after a tree fell on its entrance and exposed the bricks.

“Some said they used to play in it as children but then the borough council deemed it unsafe and filled it in. They helped us to find it and then the Friends of Holywells Park got involved to help clear the vegetation which had grown on the site over the past 30 or so years.

“It is very exciting to think this is on the grounds and it would be great to use some of the funding, if granted to us, to excavate further and then consider opening it for public view.

“It’s great to have this history here.”

Information about the discovery will now be put up inside the park.

2 comments

  • A large underground brick built room with a domed top. It made a good den when I used to play there in the early seventies

    Report this comment

    local-resident

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I too remember the domed shaped brick room, i also recall a larger brick building with slits for windows in a different area of the park. There is also a small freshwater stream that me and my friends used to drink from when we were looking for treasure (amber).

    Report this comment

    a friend

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A 20-year-old man from Ipswich has been charged with allegedly kicking a female police officer in the face and biting her male colleague.

BHS in Ipswich.

With BHS set to close across the country by the end of August, retail bosses and politicians are now looking for an alternative use for the large store in Ipswich’s Butter Market Street.

Roadworks on Princes Street in Ipswich.

A year ago the Ipswich Vision was published – looking at how the town centre should be transformed to make it more attractive to shoppers and those looking for a day out.

The Premier Inn hotel in Bury St Edmunds - council teams stayed at the Bournemouth hotel

They may be based just yards from each other – but Suffolk County Council and Ipswich Borough had very different bills at the end of their annual visit to the nation’s main event for local authorities.

Registered sex offenders missing

Six of Suffolk’s 700-plus registered sex offenders are currently listed as missing, police have said.

The Ipswich Borough Council building on Russell Road.

Ipswich Council is being reorganised in a bid to make the authority more focussed on attracting new business and jobs to the town.

Filming for the new BBC comedy drama 'Detectorists' in Framilngham. Mackenzie Crook on the set.

Film firm which has worked on Star Wars, The Apprentice, BFG and Jason Bourne films hopes to bring blockbusters to Suffolk

Essex Fire and Rescue has issued safety advice after the candle fire. Photo: David Stubbs

A candle left unattended in a bathroom has caused a house fire in Clacton.

Felixstowe Pier in 2015

Two children were taken to hospital after being rescued from the sea off Felixstowe today.

Programme Name: Robot Wars - TX: n/a - Episode: n/a (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: The House Robots Dead Metal, Sir Killalot, Matilda, Shunt - (C) Mentorn Media Scotland - Photographer: Alan Peebles

“For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24