Ice House tours launch for summer season

Ice House In Bouskell Park

Be transported back to Blaby village’s Victorian past during a tour of the historic Ice House at Bouskell Park.

Summer tours of the Grade II Listed Building are now open for booking. The tour includes a guided walk across Bouskell Park with information given about the archaeological features. You will then have an opportunity to look inside the restored Ice House and learn about how and when it was used. See here for booking details: Ice House Tours

Bouskell Park was once the site of a medieval village, the remains of which were cleared to create parkland and gardens for Blaby Hall. Much of the park’s features date back to this period including the Ice House built in 1843.

The historic Ice House was a form of early refrigeration and it would have been used by the residents of Blaby Hall to store ice that could be used to preserve food and cool drinks. Domed and circular in shape, the Ice House is covered by an earth mound with a small circular ventilation opening at the top.

In December 2019, £156,000 was awarded to Blaby District Council by The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of a £173,000 project. This exciting 'Buried Bouskell' project restored the Ice House to its former glory and helped preserve its structure and heritage for the future.

The works the installation of a new retaining structure, rebuild of the tunnel entrance, a new door and dome cover. Railings, landscaping of the area and signage were also included as part of the extensive redevelopment.

Councillor Nigel Grundy, Blaby District Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, said: "It was enormously satisfying when the Buried Bouskell project came to fruition and the historic Ice House was finally restored. Now we are proud to run regular tours to this landmark within picturesque parkland to allow people a glimpse into Blaby village’s Victorian past."

Councillor Les Phillimore, the Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, Community and Environmental Services, added: "It is estimated there may be something like 2,500 ice houses left in Britain so they are not a common feature and fully restored ice houses are even rarer and of enormous historical value. Most of them are also located in the grounds of grand houses - so we like to think our ice house is pretty unique and is a great asset to our District as a visitor attraction. Book a tour and see for yourself."

Tours cost £5.50 per adult and up to four children can go free per adult. Tours run from 10am until noon and upcoming dates are: Wednesday 5 July; Saturday 8 July; Wednesday 9 August; Saturday 26 August.

The walk around Bouskell Park is among 12 special Heritage Walks located across the District which allows people to enjoy picturesque surroundings while also learning about the area’s history.

Councillor Les Phillimore

Councillor Les Phillimore
Portfolio Holder for Housing, Community and Environmental Services

Councillor Nigel Grundy

Councillor Nigel Grundy
Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhood Services and Assets

29 June 2023