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Chilly look into yesteryear

PUBLISHED: 09:05 05 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:35 03 July 2010

FOR generations it was used to store fish and game in its chilly environs so Norfolk gentry could enjoy a tasty fresh dinner.

And now the 19th century ice hole in South Walsham, near Yarmouth, has opened up its secrets again as people are given the chance to peer into the 'cave' at one of the county's tourist attractions.

FOR generations it was used to store fish and game in its chilly environs so Norfolk gentry could enjoy a tasty fresh dinner.

And now the 19th century ice hole in South Walsham, near Yarmouth, has opened up its secrets again as people are given the chance to peer into the 'cave' at one of the county's tourist attractions.

Past generations at South Walsham Hall would have crammed fish, meat and game in to the 10ft by 10ft hole and then packed it with ice to keep them cold during the winter months.

The ice hole is now included in a trail at the Fairhaven Woodland and Winter Gardens and illustrates how people survived without the wonders of the modern fridge and freezer to preserve their food.

During the second world war cold food was off the menu as the hole was used to store ammunition in case of a German invasion of the east coast.

At the moment people can not enter the ice hole until it is cleared out and made safe, but visitors on the trail can see into it.

Head gardener at Fairhaven Ian Guest said: “It is fascinating to see it. It certainly would not compare to any modern day freezer, but it seemed to have worked well back then.”

The Fairhaven Woodland and Winter Gardens were donated by the 2nd Lord Fairhaven in 1973 and the 131-acre site was opened to the public two years later.


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