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Ice House, Croome Park

Croome D'Abitot
Defford, Worcestershire
National Trust West Midlands Region

Croome Landscape park was Capability Brown's first completed creation. The Ice House, a functional building within the park, is itself not listed. It is, however, in a registered park, and within the curtilage of both Croome Court (listed) and St. Mary Magdalene church (owned by the Churches conservation trust).

The Ice House was kept in reasonably good working order during the 150 years of its usable life but the subsequent 90 years have seen significant decay. Fortunately good documentary evidence backed up by archaeological findings provided clear information for the reinstatement off the structure. The project, however, would not have been completed at all without grant aid from Natural England.

Immediate structural repairs were required to ensure retention of the existing fabric in situ, which included the reinstatement of the passageway to secure the stability of the dome. It was proposed that the original timber roof structure and thatched covering was also reinstated in order to give a better understanding of the original appearance of the building. Long straw thatch was used as this is the local traditional type.

Over the years of its non use a large amount of debris collected within the dome. During the internal excavations, many artifacts were uncovered including pieces informative to the reconstruction, others that were even replaced in their original positions and also a number inanimate but interesting objects that have subsequently been placed around the inside of the roof structure for future preservation.


Ice House Picture Gallery

The missing passageway made the dome unsound

Dome in poor condition before works

New roof structure

Objects found in the excavations 

Members of the public can look down in to the ice chamber

The surrounding trees kept the ice house cool in summer

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