Building record MNL 134 - Old Keepers Lodge, W of High Lodge Farm, Mildenhall Warren.

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Warrener's Lodge, flint building with stone quoins, about 25 feet square, 2 storeys. Scheduled Monument.


Grid reference Centred TL 7406 7556 (14m by 10m)
Map sheet TL77NW


Type and Period (4)

Full Description

"Flint building about 25 feet square, 2 stories. Fireplace on first floor with chamfered and stopped stone lintel. Doorway on ground floor with segmental head with stopped chamfer on it. Window above with segmental head on inside and square on outside. Another blocked rectangular window. Quoins and all original dressings in stone. Inhabited until the war, but since roof has been removed (c.1950) and a passage and outbuilding pulled down (1980s). It appears to be a 14th century gamekeeper's lodge rather like that at Thetford Warren" (S1)(S5).
1984: measured and drawn survey by Colin Pendleton. Original structure 3.56m frontage x 3.17m surviving to height of circa 4.88 m on SW side. Doorway NW frontage, no ground floor windows, no evidence of original stairs. First floor has 4 inwardly splayed windows, three infilled, and deteriorating large fireplace. At a later date 2 windows were inserted in the ground floor and three in the first floor walls and the back of the fireplace has been renewed with brick. The oolitic limestone quoins incorporate re-used moulded stonework and have been built in reverse, i.e. small quoins at bottom, large at top. It would appear to have been constructed during the demolition process of part of an earlier structure, possibly during restoration of Mildenhall Church (MNL 211) in early C14. Stubs of part demolished outbuildings noted (S2). Drawings, including notated sketch plan by Mr Wilfe Bell, whose father was last partially resident gamekeeper, in parish file (measured sketches) & hanging cabinet (large final drawings).
1952: Tile with impressed coat of arms, removed from chimney breast in Keepers Cottage by Forestry Commission (S3)(R1)? during removal of roof mentioned above.
Circular, curved terracotta plaque with central coat of arms of Sir Edward Henry Bunbury (1778-1860). Dated post 1807 when he married Louisa Emilia, daughter of General the Hon Henry Edward Fox. Thumb-impressed border.
Associated with Mildenhall Rabbit Warren (see MNL 553) which is known to have produced income for Bury Abbey by 1323.
In Mildenhall leases held by the Suffolk Record Office (Bury) are references to 'The Lodge' in 1577 and to 'The Lodges' in 1612 (also note MNL 510).
1930s: photograph (from former Wilfe Bell archive - in Mildenhall Museum collections?) - copy in parish file).
Nov/Dec 2002: photographic survey pre & post restoration works. Details in (S4).
2003: clearance and recording of rubble from adjoining lean-to outbuilding (levelled in1980s) - details to follow (SCCAS, D Gill).

2009: Mildenhall Warren Lodge is a square stone building with an upper floor. Originally it had a single entrance; at first floor level are four rectangular window openings, on on each elevation and evidence of a fireplace. An additional door and windows were added in the 19th century; a kitchen range inserted on the ground floor and a lean to constructed against the east and north walls. The walls are of flint with limestone dressings and some of the corner stones are re-used Romanesque dressed stone. Collyweston Roofing Slates were found during restoration in 2000 (S8).

2010: The Breckland Society's survey of The Warrens of Breckland. The warren lodge is a standing by roofless two-storey building about 7sqm. Its walls are flint rubble-core with a knapped flint facing. The four original window and door openings with stone dressings survive and the cornerstones are of dressed limestone, which may have come from the earlier church at Mildenhall. A Will in 1540 includes "the wareyn" and the inventory accompanying George Childerstone's Will of 1662 includes "at the warren lodge one bed with a flockbed 3 ould hayes or netts and other implements belonging to him as the warrener". Low banks to the south of the warren lodge were noted in 2000 and are shown on the 1905 OS map; however thess appear to have been destroyed by felling operations in 2000. There may have been a second lodge at Three Hills, in the south-east corner of the warren, but no trace survives (S6)

2017: Lodge was put on the Heritage at Risk Register in 2011 because its flintwork had been damaged by harsh winter weather. A new roof was built to protect it, modelled on a photograph of the 1930s (S7).

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <M1> (No record type): SAM file:.
  • <S1> (No record type): DOE, Scheduling information, 1963.
  • <R1> (No record type): Forestry Commission, accession book (display at FC Offices at Santon Downham).
  • <S2> (No record type): Pendleton C & Bell W, Suffolk Buildings Recording Group, A48, 1984.
  • <M2> (No record type): Outsize plan cabinet: elevations & plans of building.
  • <S3> (No record type): NAU, Wymer J, letter to SAU, 17 March 1988.
  • <M3> Unpublished document: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Parish file. Parish file: (Santon Downham)(S3); description of arms/dates by EM.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: DG. 2003. Survey report. Old Keepers Lodge., Mildenhall.
  • <S5> Verbal communication: Personal communication. SCCAS, Pendleton C, 2004.
  • <S6> Bibliographic reference: The Breckland Society. 2010. The Warrens of Breckland: A Survey by The Breckland Society.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: The Breckland Society. 2017. The Internal Archaeology of the Breckland Warrens. p. 26 and p.27.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: Mason, A.. 2009. The Archaeology of the Warrens of Thetford Forest. p. 24 inc. illustration..

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Protected Status/Designation

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

May 8 2018 1:28PM

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