Watermead Country Park
The Watermead Country Park is a network of artificial lakes in the valley of the River Soar and the old Grand Union Canal, to the north of Leicester, in the Borough of Charnwood in Leicestershire. It runs north to south along the path of the watercourses, with Birstall to the west and Thurmaston to the east; the parks provide bird watching and watersports facilities, are managed by a partnership of Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and Charnwood Borough Council. The park includes three Local Nature Reserves, Reedbed - Watermead Country Park, Watermead Country Park - South and Birstall Meadows; the northern-most lake is named John Merricks Lake, after the late John Merricks, a silver Olympic medallist who competed in sailing events on a nearby lake as a schoolboy. He died in a car accident in 1997. Further south is King Lear's Lake, a popular fishing lake which can be circumnavigated and is popular with people walking dogs and cyclists. A statue on the western side of the lake depicts the final scene of Shakespeare's play King Lear.
The lake is used for open water swim training by Leicester Triathlon Club, for water training of Newfoundland Dogs. There are several further artificial lakes continuing south following the course of the canal ending with the southern-most lake referred to as the Mammoth lake due to the presence of a large statue of a Mammoth atop a small hill aside the lake, from where one can see Leicester and the surrounding area for some distance in either direction. There was a previous woolly mammoth where the current one stands, although it was burned down in an arson attack several years ago; the Millennium Mammoth was built to commemorate the discovery of ice age mammoth remains found when Watermead was a quarry. In January 2010, two brothers died after falling into one of the frozen lakes, they had been plucked from the lake by a police officer, leaning out of a helicopter hovering above the frozen surface. Media related to Watermead Country Park at Wikimedia Commons Watermead Country Park Leicester Triathlon Club'Paddlepaws' website describing water training of Newfoundland dogs
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom
Emergency medical services in the United Kingdom provide emergency care to people with acute illness or injury and are predominantly provided free at the point of use by the four National Health Services of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Emergency care including ambulance and emergency department treatment is free to everyone, regardless of immigration or visitor status; the NHS commissions most emergency medical services through the 14 NHS organisations with ambulance responsibility across the UK. As with other emergency services, the public access emergency medical services through one of the valid emergency telephone numbers. In addition to ambulance services provided by NHS organisations, there are some private and volunteer emergency medical services arrangements in place in the UK, the use of private or volunteer ambulances at public events or large private sites, as part of community provision of services such as community first responders. Air ambulance services in the UK are not part of the NHS and are funded through charitable donations.
Paramedics are seconded from a local NHS ambulance service, with the exception of Great North Air Ambulance Service who employ their own paramedics. Doctors are provided by their home hospital and spend no more than 40% of their time with an air ambulance service. Public ambulance services across the UK are required by law to respond to four types of requests for care, which are: Emergency calls Doctor's urgent admission requests High dependency and urgent inter-hospital transfers Major incidentsAmbulance trusts and services may undertake non-urgent patient transport services on a commercial arrangement with their local hospital trusts or health boards, or in some cases on directly funded government contracts, although these contracts are fulfilled by private and voluntary providers; the National Health Service Act 1946 gave county and borough councils a statutory responsibility to provide an emergency ambulance service, although they could contract a voluntary ambulance service to provide this, with many contracting the British Red Cross, St John Ambulance or another local provider.
The last St John Division, to be so contracted is reputed to have been at Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire, where the two-bay ambulance garage can still be seen at the branch headquarters. The Regional Ambulance Officers’ Committee reported in 1979 that “There was considerable local variation in the quality of the service provided in relation to vehicles and equipment. Most Services were administered by Local Authorities through their Medical Officer of Health and his Ambulance Officer, a few were under the aegis of the Fire Service, whilst others relied upon agency methods for the provision of part or all of their services.” The 142 existing ambulance services were transferred by the National Health Service Reorganisation Act 1973 from local authority to central government control in 1974, consolidated into 53 services under regional or area health authorities. This led to the formation of predominantly county based ambulance services, which merged up and changed responsibilities until 2006, when there were 31 NHS ambulance trusts in England.
The June 2005 report "Taking healthcare to the Patient", authored by Peter Bradley, Chief Executive of the London Ambulance Service, for the Department of Health led to the merging of the 31 trusts into 13 organisations in England, plus one organisation each in Wales and Northern Ireland. Following further changes as part of the NHS foundation trust pathway, this has further reduced to 10 ambulance service trusts in England, plus the Isle of Wight which has its own provision. Following the passage of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, commissioning of the ambulance services in each area passed from central government control into the hands of regional clinical commissioning groups; the commissioners in each region are responsible for contracting with a suitable organisation to provide ambulance services within their geographical territory. The primary provider for each area is held by a public NHS body, of which there are 11 in England, 1 each in the other three countries. In England there are now ten NHS ambulance trusts, as well as an ambulance service on the Isle of Wight, run directly by Isle of Wight NHS Trust, with boundaries following those of the former regional government offices.
The ten trusts are: East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust London Ambulance Service NHS Trust North East Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS TrustThe English ambulance trusts are represented by the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, with the Scottish and Northern Irish providers all associate members. On the 14 November 2018 West Midlands Ambulance Service became the UK's first university-ambulance trust; the service was operated before reorganisation in 1974 by the St Andrews’ Ambulance Association under contract to the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Scottish Ambulance Service is a Special Health Board that provides ambulance services throughout whole of Scotland, on behalf of the Health and Social Care Directorates of the Scottish Government.
Due to the remote nature of many areas of Scotland compared to the other Home Nations, the Scottish Ambulance Service has Britain's only publi
Belgrave is an electoral ward and administrative division of the city of Leicester, consisting of the Leicester suburb of Belgrave in its entirety. Belgrave was an out of town area and contained many large houses, which still stand today and housed wealthy, upper-class and notable residents; the old Belgrave Village containing the Belgrave Conservation Area, including Belgrave Hall, the 12th century St Peter’s Church and The Talbot pub is to the west of Loughborough Road. Belgrave is known for the ”Golden Mile”, a stretch of road containing many Asian jewellery and saree shops as well as restaurants, it is known for its large annual Diwali celebrations, which has attracted around 35000 people and includes a light switch-on and firework display and is the largest set of celebrations outside of India. Belgrave is bounded by the suburb of Rushey Mead to the north, the county village of Birstall to the north-west, Humberstone & Hamilton to the north-east, Latimer to the south, Charnwood to the east, Highfields to the south-east, Abbey to the west and Leicester City Centre to the east and south-west.
It is located north of the centre of Leicester, in the eastern part of the city. The old village part of Belgrave is close to the county border, located on the other side of the Red Hill Roundabout; the settlement was named in the Domesday Book as Merdegrave. However, after the Norman Conquest the first part of the name merde was taken to be Old French'dung' or'shit', hence the people changed it to Old French beu, bel'fair','lovely', in order to remove that unpleasant association. One of the earliest mentions of this place is in the Domesday book where it is listed amongst the lands given to Hugh de Grandmesnil by the King; the land consisted of 24 acres of meadow and land for 6 ploughs. The name was used for the large 19th-century terraced developments along the A46; this area now has a large, vibrant Asian community featuring the "Golden Mile", a stretch of road a mile long named that due to its high concentration of jewellery shops. The Asian community based in and around Belgrave and Melton Road have been residents since the early 1970s.
The Belgrave Hall area is a conservation area. The village of Belgrave is at least 900 years old, it was once known as Merdegrave, however the name changed around the time of the Norman invasion to Belgrave, meaning ‘beautiful grove.’ Belgrave is home to one of Leicester’s heritage gems, Belgrave Hall & Gardens. Belgrave Hall is a Grade II* listed building in a plain classical style; the Hall is in the midst of two acres of serene walled gardens that are open to the public during special events. It has changed hands many times but the owners have always played a major role in the economic and charitable life of the community. St Peter's Church is the oldest building in the local conservation area, parts of which date from the twelfth century. Archaeologists believe there may be an earlier Saxon church beneath the present structure. A darker side to Belgrave’s history can be found at the Talbot Inn; the Inn has origins in the 14th century when it was a popular stop providing bed and board to those who travelled through Leicester along Loughborough Road.
Over the years, it has been subject to some sinister rumours that criminals on death row would be taken there for their ‘last meal’ before execution. The bodies were supposedly returned to the inn to be used for scientific and medical experiments in the outbuildings before being laid to rest. Close to the historic heart of Belgrave is the stretch of Belgrave Road known as the Golden Mile, an Aladdin’s cave of Indian spices, clothing, interesting gifts and fantastic food and drink; the area is home to the largest selection of Indian jewellery shops outside of India. According to the 2001 UK Census, 104 Pacific Island born people were residing in Belgrave, with many more being of Pacific Islander descent; this is the largest number for any location in the UK. The area, since the 1970s, is now predominately Asian. In the 2011 census the population of Belgrave was 11,558 and is made up of 51% females and 49% males; the average age of people in Belgrave is 36, while the median age is lower at 34. 43.0% of people living in Belgrave were born in England.
Other top answers for country of birth were 28.4% India, 5.6% Kenya, 3.2% Sri Lanka, 1.6% Africa not otherwise specified, 0.8% Pakistan, 0.6% Zimbabwe, 0.4% Somalia, 0.3% Bangladesh, 0.2% Scotland. 46.7% of people living in Belgrave speak English. The other top languages spoken are 35.8% Gujarati, 4.3% Panjabi, 3.3% Tamil, 1.3% Portuguese, 0.9% South Asian Language, 0.9% Polish, 0.9% Hindi, 0.9% Urdu, 0.6% Somali. The religious make up of Belgrave is 54.6% Hindu, 14.3% Christian, 14.1% Muslim, 6.4% No religion, 5.5% Sikh, 0.3% Buddhist. 443 people did not state a religion. 4 people identified as a Jedi Knight. 48.1% of people are married, 4.0% cohabit with a member of the opposite sex, 0.5% live with a partner of the same sex, 28.9% are single and have never married or been in a registered same sex partnership, 7.5% are separated or divorced. There are 487 widowed people living in Belgrave; the top occupations listed by people in Belgrave are Elementary 20.6%, Process and machine operatives 18.7%, Process and machine operatives 15.5%, Elementary administration and service 14.3%, Sales and customer service 13.1%, Sales 10.7%, Sales Assistants and Retail Cashiers 9.8%, Administrative and secretarial 9.6%, Caring and other service 9.2%, Process Operatives 8.5%.
Belgrave is 54.6% Hindu, 14.3% Christian, 14.1% Muslim, 6.4% No religion, 5.5% Sikh, 0.3% Buddhist. Primary schools: Bel
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
The A46 is an A road in England. It starts east of Bath and ends in Cleethorpes, but it does not form a continuous route. Large portions of the old road have been bypassed, or replaced by motorway development. Between Leicester and Lincoln the road follows the course of the Roman Fosse Way, but between Bath and Leicester, two cities linked by the Fosse Way, it follows a more westerly course, it opened in June 1974. The original route of the A46 was from Bath to Laceby, passing through Cheltenham, Stratford-on-Avon, Leicester and Lincoln. Unusually for such a long road, no changes were made to its route until the 1970s. In recent years the central sections of the road have been rerouted and renumbered and there are now two sections where there are gaps of over 10 miles where the road does not exist at all; the A46 has been extended from Laceby to Grimsby and Cleethorpes - the road between Laceby and Grimsby was part of the A18. The major realignments have been Between Coventry and Leicester the original road was downgraded to the B4065 and the B4114 as a result of the opening of the M69 motorway in 1977.
Between Cheltenham and Stratford-on-Avon the road was realigned in the 1980s through Evesham on the former route of the A435 and A439. The original route through some of the most picturesque parts of the Cotswold Hills was downgraded to the B4632; the route was subsequently cut between Cheltenham and Teddington and that section became the A435 again. The A46 was diverted to connect with the M5 motorway on part of the former route of the A438. Between Evesham and north of Stratford the route was again realigned to run by Alcester and by-pass Stratford on the former line of the A422; the previous route through Bidford-on-Avon to Stratford became the B439, north of Stratford the old route became the A439. A new alignment was built from Junction 21a of the M1 to by-pass Leicester to the north; the old route through Leicester was redesignated the A5460 and A607. The A607 deviates from the straight course of the Fosse Way, bypassing the village centres of Thurmaston and Syston; the A46 was realigned to by-pass Warwick and Coventry, the old route was redesignated the A429 and the A4600.
Bypasses were built around Market Rasen and Newark. The A46 starts at Isaac's Hill roundabout with the A1098 and the A180, it passes the King George V Stadium on the right. It meets the B1213 from the right crosses the A16 Peaks Parkway, it heads into Grimsby. It meets the B1444, it meets the A18 at a roundabout. This was the old terminus of the A46, what is now the A46 heading east into Grimsby used to be the A18; the road becomes the single carriageway road once again and runs alongside the north part of the Lincolnshire Wolds. It enters the East Midlands, it bypasses Swallow to the North. It climbs a hill to meet the B1225, A1173, A1084 just east of Caistor; the road crosses the Nottingham - Grimsby railway at a level crossing. The road becomes straight and flat, passing through Middle Rasen Plantation and meets the A1103 from the right; the A631 leaves to the right at a T junction. The road bypasses Dunholme to the south it passes close to the former RAF Dunholme Lodge, it passes the headquarters for Lincolnshire Police on the left.
It meets the B1182 at a roundabout. The A46 Lincoln Relief Road is concurrent with the A15; the A15 leaves to the right at a roundabout. The road traverses the Lincoln Cliff, it crosses the Lincoln - Gainsborough railway. After bypassing Lincoln, it starts following the route of the old Fosse Way; the A46 passes the former airfield of RAF Swinderby. The road becomes the boundary of Nottinghamshire for 1 mile; the road enters the road bypasses Brough. The new section of road finishes at the roundabout with the A1133; the A17 joins from the left at a roundabout. The road crosses the A1. Newark is bypassed to the North and West ending on a roundabout with the B6166; the road continues south-west, meeting the A52 near Bingham. The single carriageway section between Newark and the Widmerpool A606 junction was replaced by a new dual carriageway road, completed in April 2012. Heading South from the A606 junction, the existing dual carriageway still following the route of the Fosse Way; the road crosses the A6006 North of Six Hills.
Syston is bypassed to the West, at a roundabout with the A607 the route continues in a Westerly direction onto the Leicester Western Bypass. There are grade separated junctions with the A6, A5630 and A50; this section of the road ends at a junction with the B5380, with the forward route flowing on to the M1. It continued towards Coventry until the opening of the M69 motorway in the 1970s, which replaced the A46 as the main route between Leicester and Coventry, with the former A46 being downgraded; the A46 reappears at Coventry at junction 2 of the M6, it follows the boundary between the district of Rugby and the borough of Coventry, always staying inside Warwickshire. At Binley Woods the A428 is crossed at a roundabout; the next roundabout is the signal controlled Tollbar Roundabout, where there are exits for the A45 and Coventry Airport. There is a break in the road here, it resumes again at Festival Island where the it takes the southern exit on to the three lane Kenilworth bypass. Along the bypass there are exits for Stonelei
Ice house (building)
Ice houses or icehouses are buildings used to store ice throughout the year used prior to the invention of the refrigerator. Some were underground chambers man-made, close to natural sources of winter ice such as freshwater lakes, but many were buildings with various types of insulation. During the winter and snow would be cut from lakes or rivers, taken into the ice house, packed with insulation, it would remain frozen for many months until the following winter, could be used as a source of ice during the summer months. The main application of the ice was the storage of foods, but it could be used to cool drinks, or in the preparation of ice-cream and sorbet desserts. During the heyday of the ice trade, a typical commercial ice house would store 2,700 tonnes of ice in a 30-by-100-foot and 14-metre-high building. A cuneiform tablet from c. 1780 BC records the construction of an icehouse by Zimri-Lim, the King of Mari, in the northern Mesopotamian town of Terqa, "which never before had any king built."
In China, archaeologists have found remains of ice pits from the 7th century BC, references suggest that these were in use before 1100 BC. Alexander the Great stored snow in pits dug for that purpose around 300 BC. In Rome, in the 3rd century AD, snow was imported from the mountains, stored in straw-covered pits, sold from snow shops; the ice that formed in the bottom of the pits sold at a higher price than the snow on top. The ice house was introduced to Britain around 1660. Various types and designs of ice house exist but British ice houses were brick-lined, domed structures, with most of their volume underground. Ice houses varied in design depending on the date and builder, but were conical or rounded at the bottom to hold melted ice, they had a drain to take away the melt-water. It is recorded that the idea for ice houses was brought to Britain by travellers who had seen similar arrangements in Italy, where peasants collected ice from the mountains and used it to keep food fresh inside caves.
Ice houses were known as ice wells, ice pits or ice mounds. Game larders and venison larders were sometimes marked on Ordnance Survey maps as ice houses. Bruce Walker, an expert on Scottish Vernacular buildings, has suggested that numerous and long-ruined ice houses on country estates have led to Scotland's many legends of secret tunnels. Ice was imported into the UK from Scandinavia until the 1920s, although from around 1900 the import of ice declined due to the development of factories in the UK where ice was made artificially. Only large mansions had purpose-built buildings to store ice. Many examples of ice houses exist in the UK. Good examples of 19th-century ice houses can be found at Ashton Court, Albrighton, Grendon, at Christchurch Mansion, Suffolk, Petworth House, Danny House, Ayscoughfee Hall, Rufford Abbey, Eglinton Country Park in Scotland, Parlington Hall in Yorkshire and Croxteth Hall Liverpool, Burghley House and Moggerhanger Park, Bedfordshire. A domed example with circular tie-access from above and side-entrance survives at Stoke Park, Berkshire.
An unusual example of an ice house, converted from a redundant brick springhead can be found in the former grounds of Norton House, Midsomer Norton, Somerset. The largest surviving ice house in the UK is the Tugnet Ice House in Spey Bay, it was built in 1830, used to store ice for packing salmon caught in the River Spey before transportation to market in London. In 2018, the large Park Crescent West ice well was discovered in Park Crescent, London, it was created for Samuel Dash in the early 1780s for commercial use before the building of the John Nash crescent was begun in 1806. This ice house is 9.5 metres deep, 7.5 metres wide, is only a few metres away from the Jubilee line on the London Underground. Used for the storage of local ice taken from the River Thames in the winter months, it was taken over in the 1820s by the ice merchant William Leftwich, who used it for storing imported ice from the frozen lakes of Norway. A pair of commercial ice wells has been preserved in London, beneath what is now the London Canal Museum at King's Cross.
They are around 30 feet in diameter and were 42 feet deep. They were built in 1863 by the Swiss entrepreneur Carlo Gatti. In 1985, a passage was discovered beneath Ardgillan Castle in Co. Dublin, Republic of Ireland; this passage was found to be the ice house, known to exist on the grounds, but whose location had not been rediscovered until this date. Ice houses allowed a trade in ice, a major part of the early economy of the New England region of the United States, which saw fortunes made by people who transported ice in straw-packed ships to the southern states and throughout the Caribbean Sea. Most notable was Frederic Tudor who formed the Tudor Ice Company in the early 19th century. In winter months, ice was chipped from a lake surface and dragged by sled to the ice house. In summer months, icemen delivered it to residences in ice-wagons; as home and business refrigeration became more commonplace, ice houses fell into disuse, the home ice delivery business declined until it had disappeared by the late 1960s.
Smaller ice houses no more than a sawdust pile covered by a makeshift roof or tarpaulin, continued to be maintained for storing ice for use in local events such as fairs. Today, most ice for daily consumption is made in a home