On the work front at Compton Verney, Monday saw the start of the Ice House renovation project. After some time & effort planning & fundraising by CV staff, the project has finally got underway. The Ice House has remained behind fencing for some while, for safety reasons, because at the end of a short tunnel, hides a man made pit approximately 12 feet deep - an enticing but dangerous cave for unwary visitors! Originally built c1772, as part of 'Capability' Brown's designed landscape, the Ice House would have served both a practical & aesthetic use. An 'Ice-House', in all its different forms around the world, was simply designed to store ice that would have been home collected (from lake or pond,) or purchased. The ice would store well & be used throughout summer months for drinks & dessert making etc.
The ice house at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, is a deep, brick lined pit, over which a domed roof is built to keep the ice clean, & cool. Further insulation was added with a thatched roof structure, & dense surrounding shrubs of Yew, which ensured the area remained in the shade. A very similar thatched ice house is to be found at Croome Park, a National Trust property near Worcester, UK.
|View along what would have been a paved tunnel approach to|
the entrance. The beautiful domed brickwork was originally concealed
by a tall thatched roof, which we hope to restore also.
|Soil excavation around the structure of the ice house; a mixture|
of machine & hand digging.
Also connected with lawns, loosely, is the creation of extra repair work. It's been marquee take down week & as this was a 300+ seater marquee, with all the supports/weights/generator equipment etc; the removal was always going to make some work for the grounds team. Unfortunately, with lashings of rain over the days/week, the ground was shall I say; tortured! Yes there is plenty of repair work to do over the coming weeks, but I'm optimistic of a green sward restored well before Christmas. Sorry for mentioning Christmas just now.....sorry, said it again!
Have a look at Compton Verney: http://www.comptonverney.org.uk/
Anyway, I must finish up for now, but let me say that the next seven days are packed to the max already, & I'm looking forward to a testing week. Bring it on! ;) See Ya, Gary