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Costerton House, Icehouse
- HER number: MEL8611
- HER number: MEL5430
- Site Name: Costerton House, Icehouse
- Grid Reference: 343602 663331
- Civil Parish:
- Description: Historic Scotland Listed Building Ref: 1194/4/-
Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: Mid 18th century. Cap and dome icehouse. Ogee entrance and arched passageway, leading to top-loading domed ice chamber. Ashlar, long and short rybats with margins; squared rubble interior, part lime rendered and whitewashed.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: entrance doorway: ashlar lintel, long and short quoins; harled coursed rubble, ogee shaped wing walls, left wall full size, right wall sunk into natural hillside; stone step into entrance passage.
INTERIOR: exterior doorway, high arched entrance passageway, lime harled and limewashed; leading to smaller rectangular doorway, cut to house an inset door; smaller narrow rectangular passage; further doorway leading to domed ice chamber: exposed squared rubble circular dome with central square top-loading flue, later metal ventilator pipe to rear wall, inset stones (to hold shelves) regularly placed around walls; dirt and rubble in-filling original floor level and central drain. Formerly 3 doors, now all missing.
EXTERIOR: on mound: square tooled ashlar top-loading flue, copes disarrayed; round metal ventilating flue to rear.
Historic Scotland Listed Building Notes: B-Group with Costerton Dovecot and Walled Garden. Inset into a natural riverbank, the icehouse has remained undiscovered for decades. Icehouses were generally built near to a source of ice, in this case the Blackhouse Burn. As with most icehouses of the 18th century, it is plain and faces north. It is sited near to the top of the bank to facilitate drainage. It is one of the few surviving structures linked to Costerton House, a rebuilt mansion on the site of an earlier house. The icehouse is of a type found in the Lothians, and this is a well-preserved example. Foodstuffs were placed on a straw floor over the packed ice. It has whitewash on its passageway, indicating a change of use to meat/game store in the mid-19th century. It still has its ashlar top-loader leading directly into the chamber, used as an easier way to fill the house rather than venture down the riverbank.
Historic Scotland Listed Building References: T Buxbaum, SCOTTISH GARDEN BUILDINGS - FROM FOOD TO FOLLY (1989) pp 106-111; S Beamon & S Roaf, THE ICEHOUSES OF BRITAIN (1990) pp 85, 93, 116.
- For more information contact: MidLothian Council HER
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