3. Ice House & Fire pond
Most large country houses had ice houses to ensure a supply of ice for food preservation well into the summer months. During the winter, ice was taken from the loch and stored in the icehouse, a deep pit in the ground, well-insulated with stone walls and a roof topped with earth. It is now protected as a listed building.
The carriage drive was the service approach to the house, from the stables where the James Watt Centre now stands. At the point where the walls on either side of the path reach their greatest height there was a footbridge passing overhead connecting the house to the gardens. The remains of the old steps and a bridge can be seen beyond the north wall. Also visible are foundations of more recent buildings and drains which date from the military period in the 1940s.
The fire pond was constructed as a convenient source of water for use in the event of fire in the mansion-house. Before fire brigades, each country house had to be self sufficient in fire fighting.