High Elms is a country estate, once the home of the Lubbock family. The main house was destroyed by fire in 1967 but within the grounds is a fine ice house, built around 1850. At this time the ice that filled it would most likely have been imported from Scandinavia or Canada, rather than being sourced from an estate lake.
The main chamber of the ice well is 3 metres in diameter and around 7 metres deep - mostly underground. It is reached by a descending curving passage. Off the passage is a small room, believed to be a larder for food preservation. The High Elms Estate is now managed as a country park by the London Borough of Bromley and can be visited.
The Ice House is one of the best preserved in the Greater London area and as such is a scheduled monument.
On a personal level, it was a visit to the High Elms Ice House in the early 1980s that first made Linda and me aware of Subterranea Britannica. We joined soon after and the rest, as they say, is history.