[Spellyans] jangye-ryn

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Aug 5 22:40:39 IST 2008

On 5 Aug 2008, at 17:14, Penny Squire wrote:

> . . . Both Jynnji-ryn and Yeynji-ryn are unlikely as both engine  
> houses and ice-houses hadn't been around very long before Cornish  
> died out as a community language.

That appears not to be the case.

Indeede, 'yeynji' means a 'cold house' rather than necessarily an  
'ice house'. 'Yeyn' means cool, cold or chill, and underground cold  
houses have been in widespread use for thousands of years (as have  
ice houses proper).

According to Wikipedia, an ice house has been excavated in northwest  
Iraq, which dates back to 1700BC, and similar sites have been found  
in many ancient cultures, including the Chinese, Greeks, Romans and  
Persians, and going back into prehistory.


While some surviving sites of this kind in Britain are associated  
with the aristocracy, the technology involved can be quite  
rudimentary, well within the reach of ordinary country dwellers,  
requiring nothing more than a covered hole in the ground, lined with  
insulating material. Snow or ice may be harvested locally and stored  
in the hole in winter, and this keeps the cold house chilled  
throughout the year. Alternatively, they have been kept cool with a  
flow of cool stream or lake water, sometimes aided by an evaporative  
system to draw out extra heat.

No need for expensive imports of Scandinavian ice.


p.s. I saw a TV documentary some years ago, about the excavation of  
one of these in Cornwall. What's annoying me is that I can't remember  
either where it was, or even what this structure was called in Cornwall.

Any ideas anyone?

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