When King Charles II had cherries, strawberries and ice cream served at a special occasion in April 1667 it caused quite a sensation. An outside ice house which permitted the King to present such delicacies in Spring – was soon a feature of many wealthy estates. Exactly when Apley’s ice house was built is unknown, but the ice with which it was filled was undoubtedly taken from Apley Pool or the fish pond when they were frozen over in winter.
Ice houses followed many different designs but the best were considered to be similar to the one found at apley. An egg shape – with narrow end pointing downwards – allowed the ice to slide down, becoming compacted slowing down the melting process. Once filled these ice-houses would store ice for over a year.
As part of the extensive restoration work that has been carried out at Apley the ice house has been cleared of tons od rubbish. It is hoped that the ice house and many other restored features at Apley will be open to the public with a future view.