Record Details

NHER Number:54069
Type of record:Monument
Name:Thetford Warren

Summary

Documentary evidence indicates that the medieval to modern rabbit warren of Thetford (formerly Westwick Warren) was established by at least 1514. The site of at least two lodges is known: Thetford Warren lodge (NHER 2760) and Reed Fen Lodge (NHER 61000). Substantial multiple earthwork banks survive along the warren’s western side, where it borders Downham High Warren (these are recorded as NHER 61559). Elsewhere, the limits of the warren are less certain. A complex, multi-phase landscape of boundaries, enclosures, tracks and cultivation/plantation ridges has been identified across the warren from earthworks evident on lidar imagery (NHER 61542). It is likely that this includes parts of the former boundary (or boundaries) of the warren, but they are difficult to distinguish confidently amongst such a multiplicity of boundary features.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TL 8349 8394
Map Sheet:TL88SW
Parish:THETFORD, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

2008 - 2009. Warrens of Breckland field survey.
The earliest known date for the warren known as Westwick Warren is 1514 when records list repairs to the lodge. The perimeter banks of the warren survive only in part and mainly where it follows the parish and county boundary. On the western boundary there are sections as long as 100m and the side of the bank facing into the warren has been faced with flints, which is the only known instance of this in Breckland to date. The lodge is a medieval (15th century?) stone keep-like building with defensive features (NHER 2760) and is one of only two medieval standing warren lodges in Breckland the other being at Mildenhall (out of county). The Westwick Warren was leased to Thetford Priory by the Duchy of Lancaster and after the Dissolution was purchased by Richard Fulmerston. From 1837 this warren specialised in the breeding of silver-greys. The site is currently owned by the Crown Estates and Forestry Commission, English Heritage and the local authority.
See (S1-2).
S. Howard (NLA), 13 May 2010.

October 2010. Norfolk NMP.
Several earthwork banks are visible on aerial photographs (S3-S4) in the region of the warren boundary. They run from TL 8462 8641 to TL 8380 8565. At the southern end, the central of the five ditches is likely to represent the boundary of Thetford rabbit warren (NHER 30716). It is visible for approximately 1100m.
E. Bales (NMP), 18 Oct 2010.

January 2019. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
As described above, documentary evidence indicates that the medieval to modern rabbit warren of Thetford (formerly Westwick Warren) was established by at least 1514. The site of at least two lodges is known: Thetford Warren lodge (NHER 2760) and Reed Fen Lodge (NHER 61000). A third possible site, High Wrong Lodge, has been suggested on the basis of documentary evidence (S5). As described above, substantial multiple earthwork banks survive along the warren’s western side, where it borders Downham High Warren (these are recorded as NHER 61559). Elsewhere, the limits of the warren are less certain. A complex, multi-phase landscape of boundaries, enclosures, tracks and cultivation/plantation ridges has been identified across the warren from earthworks evident on lidar imagery (S6-7; NHER 61542). It is likely that this includes parts of the former boundary (or boundaries) of the warren, but they are difficult to distinguish confidently amongst such a multiplicity of boundary features. See too Suffolk Historic Environment Record BNH 049.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 24th January 2019.

Monument Types

  • RABBIT WARREN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status

  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Secondary File: Secondary File.
<S1>Unpublished Report: The Breckland Society. 2010. The Warrens of Breckland: A survey by The Breckland Society..
<S2>Website: The Breckland Society. 2008. The Breckland Society Warrens Project.. http://www.brecsoc.org.uk/projects/warrens-project/.
<S3>Vertical Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1947. RAF CPE/UK/2021 4068-9 21-APR-1947 (NMR).
<S4>Vertical Aerial Photograph: Ordnance Survey. 1989. OS/89406 032-3 05-SEPT-1989 (NMR).
<S5>Unpublished Report: The Breckland Society. 2017. The Internal Archaeology of the Breckland Warrens. p28.
<S6>LIDAR Airborne Survey: Various. LIDAR Airborne Survey. LIDAR Santon Forest Research 0.5m DTM 17-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).
<S7>LIDAR Airborne Survey: Various. LIDAR Airborne Survey. LIDAR Thetford Forest Research 0.5m DTM 17-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).

Related records

61542Parent of: Extensive remains of boundaries, enclosures, trackways and cultivation/plantation ridges across Thetford Warren (Monument)
53760Parent of: Medieval to post medieval warren bank, faced with flints (Monument)
61000Parent of: Site of Reed Fen Lodge, Thetford Warren (Monument)
61541Parent of: Small undated rectilinear enclosure, perhaps post medieval and related to warrening (Monument)
2760Parent of: Thetford Warren Lodge (Building)
36806Parent of: Undated banks and ditches (Monument)
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