Lullingstone Ice House and 'Bath House', Kent

Although not open to the public the Castle Gardens are. Click here for further details

Raising the lid
16th June

After many years of being sealed up the concrete lid was raised on the old Ice House at Lullingstone.

22nd June

Digging then began to clear out all the rubble and return the Ice House to it's original state so it can be used by the local bat population


Winching out the buckets

Looking down into the Ice House

June 29th

Further digging took place and the level has now fallen significantly inside.

Fortunately the side entrance is well appointed and allows access without having to Descend / Ascend through the top.


Looking out of the side entrance

Nearly at the bottom !

June 29th

More digging and hauling away of rubble.

After further digging the end is now in sight and will hopefully be reached during the next digging session.

 


The digging crew having a break

Looking down at the bottom

August 3rd

After further digging during the intervening weeks, tonight we finished clearing all the remaining rubble from the Ice House.

 

The whole chamber is now clear. The bottom is clearly visible and the whole chamber is remarkably well intact. The chamber is approx 19' deep with a further 4' deep drain hole / soakaway in the bottom.


Looking into the drain hole

Installing the bat boxes.

Bat boxes have now been attached to the walls and all we can now do is wait and see if the bats will take up residence.

During this visit we also had a look at the nearby bathhouse with a view to clearing the ivy off the outside and emptying the rubble out of it.

21st November

Work started to look the the "bath house" although there are still conflicting ideas as to whether this is what it actually is. The pool itself was full of debris, probably from the crumbling walls and possibly a roof. There would appear to be a spring that feeds it, on the side furthest away from the river, with a constant source of fresh clean water.

Cleaning out the rubble

Pumping out.

Clearing ivy.

21st March 2010

Work continues on the "bath house". Progress was hampered by the ability of the pump to keep up with the inflow of water. Initially this was thought to be entirely from the spring but further investigation revealed a link to the river. As fast as we were trying to empty it the river was refilling it. After digging an investigative hole and plugging the inflow we were able to drop the level significantly, especially with the aid if some manual bailing. Amongst the debris removed were some nice tiles, possibly from the bottom. Hopefully the next trip, when the river level is lower or we can use an additional pump, should see the task completed, and the bottom exposed.

Manual bailing as pump couldn't cope.

There's got to be a hole here somewhere !

Come on in the water's lovely.