Monument record ERL 102 - Eriswell Warren

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Medieval to post medieval Eriswell Warren; divided into Low Warren and High Warren with two lodges. The perimeter is largely defined by bank (occasionally double) earthworks along the line of Eriswell/Elveden (to the east), Lakenheath (to the north), Icklingham (to the south) and Mildenhall (to the southwest) parish boundaries. The earthworks of the perimeter bank(s) have been identified on the ground, are depicted on historical maps, and are at least partially visible on aerial photographs and imagery derived from lidar data.


Grid reference Centred TL 7613 7819 (6406m by 4631m) (Centred on)
Map sheet TL77NE


Type and Period (8)

Full Description

Eriswell High Warren perimeter is largely defined by bank (occasionally double) earthworks along line of Eriswell/Elveden (to the E), Lakenheath (to the N), Icklingham (to the south) and Mildenhall (to the south-west) parish boundaries.
Double bank earthworks depicted along line of Eriswell/Elveden parish boundary. Also marks east boundary of Elveden High [rabbit] Warren (medieval in origin). Dependant on survival potentially of national importance.
See ERL 091 for warrener's 'High Lodge' site, and ERL 062 for the 'Lower Lodge' site.
Shown as double line on OS map of 1904 (S1) between cited grid references. By 1983 (S2) little of both banks(?) remain/show up. Shown as extending to N to corner of Lakenheath warren and joining banks there (LKH 174) on 1836 OS map. Extends to SW as IKL 126. Not visited. Also shown on OS map 1836 as double line (S3).

The Eriswell boarder which lay against Mildenhall Warren covered 100 acres and was let to the warrener as part of his lease (S9).

2010: visited as part of the Warrens of Breckland Survey and said that 'Double banks on the eastern boundary are marked by a line of gorse (a technique recorded as being used to prevent rabbits escaping) on top of the outer bank'. This gorse survival would also be of considerable importance and is worthy of preservation.The rabbit warren is first mentioned in 1309 as a small rabbit warren. When the manor of Eriswell was purchased in 1652 the title noted "two free warrens containing 2000 acres and the game and stock of coneys in the said warrens" which suggests that Eriswell Warren was divided into Low Warren and High Warren each with a Warrener's Lodge; High Lodge (ERL 091) and Lower Lodge (ERL 062) (S4).

Reverend Munday also mentioned a practice on Eriswell Warren where "banks were built diagonally across the warren and traps set in holes in them". Such a practice is described in more detail in TW Turner's "Memories of a Gamekeeper" 1954 (S5).

January 2017. 'Brecks from Above' and Breckland National Mapping Programme.
The earthworks relating to the eastern boundary of the Eriswell High Warren, a medieval rabbit warren, have been mapped from aerial photographs (S6-S8). The boundary consists of two banks to the north, where it abuts Lakenheath Warren. Further south one, broader bank, with flanking ditches, was recorded. A possible third bank was tentatively identified in the central section.
S. Horlock (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 24th January 2018.

See also ERL 097 for earthwork bank associated with the south boundary.

March 2019. Breckland National Mapping Programme.
Stage 2 of the project has mapped a section of the eastern perimeter bank of the medieval to post medieval Eriswell Warren, described above. This is in addition to the section mapped as part of Stage 1, also described above. As has already been described, the eastern boundary also marks the parish boundary between Eriswell and Elveden.
The boundary is visible as an earthwork on aerial photographs (S10) within the Stage 2 project area, between TL 7909 7882 and TL 7879 7771, but with a gap between TL 7908 7879 and TL 7893 7842 where any earthworks are obscured by a belt of trees. It is mostly evident as a double bank, but only a single bank is visible at its northern end, whereas a third bank is visible along its central section. The mapping largely concords with the depiction of the boundary on the Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map (S11).
S. Tremlett (Norfolk Historic Environment Service), 8th March 2019.

Multiple areas of heathland c. 1880s, (S12)

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <S1> Map: OS. OS Map. OS, 1:2500, XXI.8, XXI.4, 1904.
  • <S2> (No record type): OS, 1:10,000 map, TL 77 NE, 1983.
  • <S3> (No record type): OS, 1st edition one inch map, 1836.
  • <S4> Bibliographic reference: The Breckland Society. 2010. The Warrens of Breckland: A Survey by The Breckland Society. 21, ill.
  • <S5> Bibliographic reference: Email. Mason A to Pendleton C (SCCAS), 17 Sept 2012 (copy in parish file).
  • <S6> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/82/1208 F21 0102-0103 02-JUN-1955 (HEA Original Print).
  • <S7> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. OS/71216 V 167-169 14-MAY-1971 (HEA Original Print).
  • <S8> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. EARTH.GOOGLE.COM 19-MAR-2003 ACCESSED 24-JAN-2018 (Digital).
  • <S9> Unpublished document: Mason, A.. 2009. The Archaeology of the Warrens of Thetford Forest. p. 8.
  • <S10> Vertical Aerial Photograph: Vertical aerial photograph. RAF/106G/UK/1557 FP 1008-9 07-JUN-1946 (HEA Original Print).
  • <S11> Map: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Map. Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6 inch map.
  • <S12> Digital archive: Fletcher, W, Martin, E.. Greens Survey Shape File and Text.

Finds (0)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (4)

Related Events/Activities (2)

Record last edited

Feb 9 2021 3:13PM

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