----The Ice House as it is called is situated just outside of the town on the Belfast Road just opposite Ballycraighy Drive.- Photographed 2002
This is the entrance to the Ice House and at the moment as you can see it is covered in undergrowth. Although when it was used the building would have been covered in more earth on top to insulate it. There are walls either side leading up to the entrance. The Ice House was primarily a refrigerated storehouse for the provision of 'Summer ice' at the dinner table. The Winter-house, then even in the height of summer was always preserved, 'as cold as an Ice House'.
This is where they stored the ice in the darken section of the photograph. This is actually like a large circular well, about 8 feet in diameter and about 15 feet deep. The way it was store would have been as follows: During the winter they would bring up large blocks of ice from the nearby pond, put it down outside and then pound it to the size of grains of sand. Next they shoveled it into the ice well where a man with a rammer would beat it to pack the ice tightly, occasionally sprinkling the ice with a little water to consolidate it. When this water is impregnated with salt and poured on the ice in such quantities as to saturate it completely, the ice will become as firm as a rock and keep three times longer than using ordinary water.
If anyone has anymore information about the Ice House, please email me.
This shows the tunnel leading from the Ice House to the outside.