August – Time for Ice Cream (And, First Try, AI)

Photo of Ice House in grounds of Keystone Pub, York, from Doubletree Hilton
Ice House in grounds of Keystone Pub, York, from Doubletree Hilton

From my hotel room in York which overlooks the City Wall, near Monk Bar, I noticed a strange brick building dug into the bank in front of the City Wall. ‘Very curious.’ I thought, as I looked, ‘It’s either a kiln or an Icehouse. ‘ A ridiculous place for a kiln, I concluded, and as the weather was nice, I went out to explore.

By Monk Bar (Bar means Gate in York) I found a pub called the Keystones, and through its yard I could see the round brick structure, you can see below.

Ice House in grounds of Keystone Pub, York
Ice House in grounds of Keystone Pub, York

‘Icehouse!’ I thought to myself with increasing confidence, and the ladder to the cavernous conical hole beneath it proved the point. It dates to about 1800.

Detail of Ice House in grounds of Keystone Pub, York

I wrote a brief history of Ice Houses in November 2022, which you can read here.

But it doesn’t say much about ice cream. I have been meaning to write a piece on that subject since I got a great article on the history of Ice Cream from the Friends of the British Museum magazine. I intended to prĂ©cis it and do a little research and include here.

But, in the meantime, I received an email from ‘Jetpack’, a plugin for WordPress users, that offered me an AI plugin, which I wanted to try. So this is the first AI generated piece of information I have ever used.


Ice cream has a long and fascinating history. It’s believed that the ancient Chinese were the first people to eat a form of ice cream, flavoured with fruit and honey. The Persians also had a version of ice cream using ice and grape syrup. In the 13th century, Marco Polo brought the idea of ice cream to Europe from China. The dessert became popular in Italy, where early recipes called for flavoured snow and ice. By the 18th century, ice cream was regularly served in English and American households. Today, ice cream is enjoyed all over the world in many variations and with a plethora of flavours.

Jet Pack AI Generated Text Ends (I’ve improved its UK spelling and grammar.)

Now, settle yourself down with that pistachio and ciocolata gelato and read real writing on the subject of the origins of Ice Cream from the British Museum, and please notice that the ice house pictured below is also, weirdly, just by a City Wall.

British Museum Blog ice-cream-inside-scoop

Blog Page from British Museum showing picture of an ancient Mesopotamian Ice House by a defensive wall.


Bootham Bar with York Minter in the background
Bootham Bar with York Minter in the background photo Kevin Flude

I’m doing a virtual tour of York tonight at 7pm.

Then, tomorrow, two proper real walks in the fresh air:

a Literary and Archaeological walk of Roman London at 11.30

a Spring Equinox Walk at 2.30.

and I then dash hope to repeat the Equinox Walk as a virtual tour.

Links to the walks here:

And the Sunday was ruined bt the taxi driver who knocked me off my bike!