Kings cross ice well

We've not always had fridges - go knows how anyone coped with that. One of the ways people coped (which would probably be nice today ) is to store ice that came around in carts and blocks were chipped off for anyone that wanted to keep something cool.

Fresh ice in the olden days however was rare and as well as being used for keeping meat and dairy products cool it was also used instead of anaesthetic for surgical procedures - ouch.

There are two Victorian ice wells behind Kings Cross Station and they have just recently been made open to the public. They were created by Carlo Gatti who arrived in London in 1847. Gatti became a famous ice cream manufacturer importing frozen items in from Norway which were stored underground to keep them cool for the longest time possible.

The ice warehouse you can see today is comprised of two wells each 42 feat deep and 30 feet wide they were in used until 1904. These wells made Gatti a millionaire.

You can find the ice wells as part of the London Canal Museum but they are only open once a year although you can also look at a web-controlled camera online.

If you want to see it in the flesh however the once a year open day is coming up on the 20th July.