James Raymond Johnstone inherited the Alva House estate in 1795. He added a new west wing and probably the stable block and ice house, in c.1810-20. The ice house is buried on the slope below the stables. By the mid-19th century most country houses and estates had an ice house, to keep provisions cold and fresh and provide a supply of ice for fruit sherbets and table decorations. The introduction of refrigeration in the early 1900s rendered ice houses obsolete.
This ice house is a fine example, consisting of an entrance passage leading into a heptagonal corridor around the main ice chamber, which is egg-shaped, with a flattened base and a hatch at the top through which to lower the ice. The corridor has six niches set into the inner walls, with stone storage shelves. There would have been three doors, to maintain a dry, even temperature and atmosphere for the ice. The ice house was restored as part of the recent Ochils Landscape Partnership programme, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Clackmannanshire Council, LEADER and other sources.
Building Date: c1820
Guided tours, with maximum 10 people in ice house at a time.
Please note that access to the ice house is not suitable for visitors with mobility difficulties. Sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing are essential, as access is via uneven surfaces and steps.