Monument record BRD 082 - Brandon Warren; medieval to modern rabbit warren

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Documentary evidence indicates that the rabbit warren at Brandon was established in the medieval period and was still functioning in 1917. The earthwork remains of both external boundary banks and internal banks have been recorded through field survey, and through earthworks visible on aerial photographs and imagery from a 2015 lidar survey.


Grid reference Centred TL 7847 8432 (4715m by 4337m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL78SE


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

Brandon Warren was owned by the Bishop of Ely. After the Dissolution the warren then had a succession of owners including Rear-Admiral George Wilson and Edward Bliss before being bought by the Forestry Commission. There is documentary evidence of the warren since 1252 into the post-medieval period. The 1807 Enclosure Act exempts Brandon Warren approx 2,820 acres. It was still functioning in 1917 (S2).

1992 Site Visit: Very well preserved large long mound in woodland belt beside B1106 Brandon- Elveden road. 73 paces long by 20 paces wide (circa 61m by 17m) and circa 2.5m high with pine trees, about 60 years old, growing on and around. Good state of preservation suggests not Prehistoric. Possibly warren mound (cf. SUT 020). Note close to Spinks (formerly "Elveden Lodge") Lodge and Elveden Upper Warren ("Elveden Rabbit Warren", 1st ed, OS) although clearly N of parish boundary and outside? warren. 2nd, smaller and less convincing long mound to S (38 x 13 paces, 1m high from N, 50cm from S) at TL 799 824 and smallish round mound with slice through centre to N at circa TL 7989 8260 (S1).
Note other possible paired (pillow?) mounds circa 450m to N (see BRD 195 & 196) and at Sutton (SUT 096 & 097) and Mildenhall (MNL 516 & 517). Other(?) mounds across road to E - survey needed (S1)

2009: On Brandon Warren in the south-eastern corner where it meets Downham Warren is an area named 'the clapper' (S3).

2010: Breckland Society survey of the Warrens of Breckland identified a rabbit warren and lodge. The warren was visible during the survey around most of the boundary with substantial banks between this warren and the adjacent Downham High Warren. There are double banks in the north-eastern corner of the warren and where the boundary runs alongside Elveden Warren (S2).

See also BRD 093 Brandon Lodge.
See also BRD 111 and BRD 312 for possible internal rabbit warren banks.

For photocopies of documents and notes on Brandon warren from 1382 to 1866 - see (R1). (Formerly recorded as BRD MISC and BRD 348).

January 2019. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The eastern side of Brandon Warren (described above) falls within the project area. Along its southern edge it was possible to map boundary banks, presumed to be of medieval to modern date and related to the warren, which are visible as earthworks on aerial sources, principally imagery from a 2015 lidar survey (S4). On its eastern side, the multi-banked boundary between Brandon and Downham High Warren has been recorded as SHER STN 035. To the south, the boundaries of Elveden and Wangford warrens have been recorded as part of SHER ELV 039 and WNG 025 respectively. It is the case, however, that in the absence of detailed documentary or map evidence, the assignment of any particular banks mapped by the project to a specific warren is to a large extent notional, and they might equally be recorded as part of an adjacent warren. Some of the banks recorded as belonging to Brandon Warren are likely to correspond with those recorded by earlier surveys (described above). As the lidar survey was flown relatively recently, it is probable that the earthworks still survive.
The long mound, and additional possible mounds, described above are now recorded as part of SHER BRD 307. There is little evidence that the principal mound is a pillow mound (no definite examples of such features have been identified across the Breckland warrens), and it is thought more likely to be of modern and/or geomorphological origin.
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 17th January 2019.

Sources/Archives (6)

  • <S1> (No record type): SAU, Pendleton C, sketch plan, May 1992.
  • <R1> (No record type): SRO (Bury), Photocopies of notes of documents on Brandon warren, 1382(?).
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. (S1).
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: The Breckland Society. 2010. The Warrens of Breckland: A Survey by The Breckland Society. p16.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Mason, A.. 2009. The Archaeology of the Warrens of Thetford Forest. p.14.
  • <S4> LIDAR Airborne Survey: LIDAR airborne survey. LIDAR Wangford Forest Research 0.5m DTM 17-JUL-2015 (BNG Project, FC England, Fugro Geospatial).

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (7)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Oct 11 2019 6:20PM

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