7. The Ice Trade and ice cream

Carlo Gatti and the ice trade

Ice cream cone and girl advertising model, with ice "dog" behind

Our ice trades exhibition starts with the ice well itself, a huge opening in the ground into which you can peer at the only commercial ice well in preservation in the UK. Marvel at the resourcefulness of the Victorians who supplied ice to London all year round with no refrigeration possible. The well was originally over forty feet deep (12 metres) and hundreds of tons of ice were stored here. Our ice trades and ice cream exhibition has artifacts from the ice trade and the history of ice cream on display and an interactive computer screen allows you to ask questions of Carlo Gatti, by selecting from a menu. A nineteenth century model of an ice cart reminds us of how the ice reached its destination and a model of the building as it is thought to have looked in around 1890 can be studied. Our exhibition is finished off with a set of ice moulds, which were the cause of the decline and abandonment of the ice trade - the moulds were used to make ice in London.