Ice house and bones found in cellar of pub

By David Newble

Saturday, February 22, 2014

 

BUILDING work at a popular Cowes watering hole unearthed some unusual discoveries.

Deep in the cellar of the Pier View, workmen were astonished to find a hitherto unknown ice house and a pile of horse bones.

Intricate brickwork from the ice house appeared when alterations were being done to the building.

Also buried in the clay were a number of bones, including a jaw bone, later identified as coming from a horse.

Ice houses were used before fridges to keep meat and dairy products cool. An example of an ice house exists at Northwood House. However, how the horse bones came to be in the cellar remains a mystery.

But there is speculation they could date from the days when the Fountain Inn opposite was a coaching house.

Landlady of the Pier View Sue Wescomb said photos of the excavation could eventually go on display at the pub.

She said: "The builders were doing an extension in the cellar. The bones were actually in the clay.

"As they dug deeper, they found some intricate brickwork. They knocked a hole in it and put in a camera and found it was an ice house. It has all been covered over now."

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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