The temple and icehouse at Hatchlands Park

The icehouse in the garden

Between April and October you can visit our beautiful gardens within the park fences. As you stroll down the garden path take a moment to explore a short distance off the beaten track and you’ll find two of Hatchlands’ best kept secrets. A classical stone folly inscribed with a tribute to a beloved mother and a Georgian fridge-freezer built in the 1750s.

A popular centrepiece

The 18th century classical stone temple with its’ copper dome was moved to Hatchlands in 1953 from nearby Busbridge Park. The frieze at floor level bears an inscription that reads, ‘Placed here as a memory of Rose Ellen Cooper who long lived at and loved Hatchlands’. Rose was the daughter of Lord Rendel who bought the Hatchlands Park estate in 1888. The temple was installed here by her devoted son Hal Goodhart-Rendel who was the estates last private owner.
The inscription to Rose
The inscription at the base of the temple
The inscription to Rose

The temple originally formed the focal point of a complex layout of six paths in a Union Jack shape, surrounded by a rose garden. These paths have since been grassed over although, in hot weather, the layout can still be seen from above as the grass with shallower roots browns quicker than the rest of the lawn. 
 
The temple now resides at the top of the garden, to your left as you walk back towards reception. Work recently took place to restore and conserve the temple, preserving it for future generations.
The temple at Hatchlands Park
The temple in the garden
The temple at Hatchlands Park

 

A Georgian fridge-freezer

As you leave the garden, passing the London Plane tree, and proceed along Fanny Boscawen’s Walk you'll notice the icehouse on your left. The Hatchlands icehouse was built in the late 1750s by the Boscawen family, at about the same time as the house. It's surrounded by box hedging and sits on the edge of the dell, this woodland hollow may originally have been a small chalk quarry.
 
Icehouses were used as long-term storage for meat, fish and dairy produce, and supplied ice throughout the summer for cool drinks and desserts. Every winter the ice, and sometimes snow and hail, was collected from local lakes, ponds and streams, packed with straw, and transported to the icehouse.
A suitably snowy icehouse
The icehouse in the garden
A suitably snowy icehouse

The Hatchlands icehouse has a shaft with straight sides and is cut into chalk which allows the water to filter through it. The walls are extremely thick for the purposes of insulation but the concrete base you see today was put in during restoration work in 1983.