Archaeology group unearths ‘ice house’ in Leeds park

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An archaeology group has unearthed an 18th century “ice house” in a Leeds park.

Around half a dozen members of South Leeds Archaeology (SLA) and the Friends of Middleton Park uncovered the brick and stone structure, which was used to store ice for those living at Middleton Lodge.

The cone-shaped hole in the ground, which is thought to have been 25 to 30ft deep, would have been heavily insulated to store ice from the lake to be brought into the kitchen to make ice creams and sorbets.

Paul Boothroyd, chair of SLA, said: “There wasn’t any mention of the ice house in the documentary evidence but everybody assumed there must have been one somewhere because of the high status of the people living at Middleton Lodge.

“From the point of view of Middleton it’s very significant. It adds to the knowledge about those who lived there.”

Built in 1760 by Charles Brandling, who invested in the building of Middleton Railway on the estate, the lodge stood near the park’s rose garden until 1992.