WATERPERRY SUMMER CAMP
The Waterperry Summer Camp was put together to give people who love Waterperry House and Gardens an opportunity to get together, have lots of fun, learn new skills, and help out generally on the estate.
One of the opportunities for service was the ice house, and we had no shortage of willing volunteers.
We were looking to progress three areas:
1) Re-build of the first arch
2) Taking down the last arch and east wall
3) Clearing out the ice house
REBUILD OF FIRST ARCH
Before we could do any bricklaying, we needed three things in place:
a) Bricks. We only had managed to save some 200 bricks, and required around 700 for the front arch. We had to match the soft red bricks of the tunnel for width, thickness and length. Eventually we found some from the Chesham depot of the London Reclaimed Brick Merchants, and bought two pallet loads (around 1000 bricks)
b) The Arch Former. This needed to be completed and erected in place to support the new brickwork
c) A good bricklayer. With over 1000 new homes being built in the area, bricklayers had become like gold dust! Fortunately our resident wood carver, Andrew Peters, originally trained as a bricklayer, and agreed to give us some time to progress the project
THE BRICKS ARRIVING
THE ARCH FORMER
BUILDING THE FIRST LAYER
TAKING DOWN THE LAST ARCH AND WALL
The arch, although damaged, had been re-pointed with very hard mortar, and was very difficult to break up. Fortunately we had some strong chaps who were not going to be beaten...
CLEARING OUT THE ICE HOUSE
With the last arch removed, we had daylight into the ice house for the first time in over 200 years, so we decided to take advantage and clear out the rubble.
Once we had removed two crumbling bicycles, and vast amounts of bricks, stone and earth, we discovered the original brick and tile floor, complete with a drain gully going in an approximately northeast direction.
We also found evidence of the original wooden platform that the ice would have sat on along one edge of the floor. Unfortunately this is very crumbly and there is not much left, but we may be able to get some clues as to what it would have comprised, so we can build a replica.
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