Recent research into the history of ice wells and the 19th century ice trade has revealed the existence of a second ice well in Union Street, Ryde. In a domestic, rather than commercial setting, nothing else is yet known about the exact whereabouts or dimensions of this well, at Number 12 Union Street.
The Hampshire Telegraph of October 23, 1847 contains an advertisement of the sale of the premises by Francis Pittis, which reveals: ‘The premises were erected by the proprietor for his own occupation, and no expense has been spared in the elegance and durability of their construction. Since his retirement a Shop Front has been added, with Plate Glass windows; and they are now in the occupation of Mr Dudelle, Perfumer &c, as yearly tenant, and present Business Premises unequalled for situation, and contain most spacious and elegant apartments for a Lodging House, and by which a large profit may be realized.
‘The House comprises on the basement, Kitchen, housekeeper’s room, butler’s room, larder, scullery, wash house, store room, coal house, beer and wine cellars, and ice well; on the ground floor, front shop, private entrance opening to an elegant and spacious hall and the grand staircase, dining room, library, dressing room, water closet, hot and cold baths; on the first floor an elegantly decorated drawing room, 32 feet by 17 feet and 12 feet high, with statuary marble chimney pieces, and scaglioli columns, two bedrooms, plate closet and secondary staircase; on the second floor, seven bedrooms, housemaid’s closet, and water closet.
‘There is an abundant supply of spring and rain water, and a back entrance from Union-road.
‘The Premises are held on lease for 999 years, and are subject to a ground rent of 25l per annum.’
The auction was due to take place at Yelf’s Hotel in Ryde, on Tuesday, the 26th of October, 1847, at four o’clock in the afternoon.
In June 1856, the premises were once again advertised for sale: ‘ A first class PRIVATE RESIDENCE and SHOP, situate in Union-street, now in the occupation of Mr MacKay, confectioner; containing numerous apartments of a superior description, adapted for holding select assemblies, &c; also hot and cold baths, ice well, and every domestic convenience, the house being well-arranged either for a Private Residence, or for carrying on any lucrative business.’
The building subsequently became a bank, with the doors and safe still extant in the basement area.