The Council has carried out works to refurbish the historic Ice House located in Bedford’s Cultural Quarter, with the support of local funders. This means that the site is now accessible through guided walks with the Bedford Association of Tour Guides.
The Ice House is an underground, manmade chamber inside the Castle Mound at the heart of the historic site of Bedford Castle. It was built by the Higgins family in the mid-1800s and would have been used to store ice throughout the year. The central well is over 4m deep, large enough to have stored ice for use in all of the inns of Bedford when it was built.
Cllr Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio Holder for Leisure said “It’s fantastic to see this historic location in Bedford’s town centre made open to the public. Bedford has a fascinating history for people to explore, and this new site available for guided walks will bring even more of that history to life.”
The improvements carried out include new lighting, a new safety handrail and an access door, all complying with heritage requirements set by Historic England and reflecting the site’s importance as a Scheduled Monument.
This follows the efforts of local historian David Fowler, and is supported by funding from the Gale Family Charity Trust and Bedford Architectural Archaeological & Local History Society.
Access to the Ice House is possible through guided tours given by the Bedford Association of Tour Guides. Find out more about guided walks around Bedford here http://www.bedfordtourguides.org/.