DARLASTON HALL ICE HOUSE
There was a hall at Darlaston near Stone in Staffordshire in the early 16th century when it was leased by a Jacobus Colyer from the Abbey at Burton on Trent. His son, one Robert Colyer became a wool trader.
The lease continued with the Colyer’s until a James Colyer bought the hall and land from the Abbey when the Abbey was dissolved.
A Colyer descendant, another James Collier sold the hall and the estate around 1685 to William Jervis. The Jervis family also owned Meaford Hall on the eastern side of the River Trent from Darlaston Hall.
Meaford Hall was the birthplace of John Jervis, Earl of St Vincent of navel fame. Horatio Nelson was once a Captain under Admiral John Jervis at the battle of St Vincent in 1797 from where John Jervis gained the Earldom for winning the battle against the Spanish.
It was evident from early prints of Darlaston Hall was subjected to at least one rebuild and other changes.
In 1880 the Jervis family sold the estate to James Meakin who was a pottery manufacturer.
In Kelly’s Directory of Staffordshire 1896 Darlaston Hall was listed as a modern mansion built of stone and Mrs Meakin was listed as Lady of the Manor and principal landowner.
Sadly like many such buildings the hall fell into dis-repair with contents being sold in the early 1950’s and the hall itself succumbing to demolition in 1952.
The ice house is located on private land to the west of a small lake located on the north drive and in November 2016 I managed to obtain permission to visit the ice house and take some photographs.
There is a short climb up an embankment to reach the ice house which is north facing. It has rough, hewn sandstone blocks framing the entrance with a pyramid shaped apex also of sandstone. One reference I have come across refers to entrance as being Egyptian in style.
The ice house is covered with earth and there is evidence of part of the entrance stonework pulling away from the inner brickwork.
Inside the ice house, the corridor is brick-lined with evidence of one inner door structure. The walls of the corridor are tapered inwards going down to the ground.
I could not get to the ice pit due to an obstruction, but it appeared to be intact and ovoid in shape.
It’s not listed at present.
I have been unable to find out as yet any information as to when this ice house was built, but it does appear to be c19th