Map of Location
Other documentary evidence
The Manor of Mildenhall was given to the Abbey of Bury St Edmunds by Edward the Confessor and the warren set up by 1328. The manor was included in the Duchy of Lancaster lands after The Dissolution and leased to Sir Nicholas Bacon. In 1604, Sir Henry North purchased the grange of Mildenhall and the warren. It then passed to Sir Charles Bunbury and the Forestry Commission bought the land in 1932.
(Manor of Mildenhall Court Rolls 1278-1745 – not yet examined)
‘The Mildenhall accounts for the year from 17 Oct 1247 to 11 Oct 1248 record receipt of 15s from the warren.’
Bury Abbey was already receiving income from the warren in 1323
The 1540 Will of Nicholas Mey includes ‘the Wareyn’.
Deeds ref manor of Lord North 1534-1614
‘The Grange and the Warren of the manor of Mildenhall’ 1598-1620
There is a reference in 1630 Valuation to ‘the grange with the demeanes and warren of conies are past in fee farms and no parte of this value.’
An inventory of 1662 for George Childerstone the warrener includes ‘at the warren lodge one bed with a flockbed 3 ould hayes or netts and other implements belonging to the warrener’.
‘10 acre close called Wickes near Mildenhall Warren with a barn’. 1664-1701
9 acres ‘next to the warren’ 1695-1734
The Enclosure Map for Mildenhall Parish is dated 1807 and the warren is shown as occupying 1066 acres. Transverse roads cross it including the turnpike from Barton Mills to Brandon – the toll house is still there in the north-west corner of the warren. Ogilvie’s linear ‘Travellers Guide’ of 1675 shows three roads crossing the warren.
Maps of Parish 1834 Estate Maps, Terriers and Surveys E18/454/5-14 and E18/400 (may include Eriswell).
Woodlands Estate 1911
Print Warren Hill
1664-1701 ‘10 acre close called Wickes near Mildenhall Warren with a barn’
1695-1734 9 acres ‘next to the warren’
[WSROB E18/451/1-67, Gransden, Antonia. 2007. A History of The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds 1182-1256. p260. Mark Bailey, A Marginal Economy, WSROB IC500/1/36/24, WSROB E18/452/112, WSROB E18/452/124, WSROB 633/1-2), WSROB IC500/1/114/87, WSROB E18/452/31, E18/452/39 and E18/452/39, WSROB QR1/30A, WSROB Q/SH/72, WSROB EF/550/1/82 and 1851 EF505/1/83, WSROB E18/452/13,WSROB E151/176/3]
Earliest documentary evidence
The Mildenhall accounts for the year from 17 Oct 1247 to 11 Oct 1248 record receipt of 15s from the warren.
[Gransden, Antonia. 2007. A History of The Abbey of Bury St Edmunds 1182-
In 1732-33, there was a dispute between the warrener, Thomas Hanmer and Daniel Gwilt, an Icklingham landowner because the latter’s crops were being eaten by rabbits straying over ‘the feeble banks’. The new bank was paid for by both landowners but the respective tenants had to contribute to its upkeep warren banks. [WSROB E3/10/9.2]
Sales Particulars of 1911 detail ‘High Lodge Cottage’ (former lodge) as having ‘sitting room. Kitchen, wash-house, pantry and two bedrooms
With the usual out-offices’
There may have been a second lodge at Three Hills in the south-east corner of the warren but no trace survives and the site is not named on Hodskinson’s 1783 Map, suggesting that any lodge had disappeared by that date or that it was a later build, on the part of the warren which continued to function after enclosure.(Colin Pendleton SAU)[WSROB E18/452/134]
Trapping Banks are marked on the 1807 Enclosure Map in the north-east corner
Trap Grounds. [WSROB E18/410/1, WSROB E18/452/98]
1540 Will of Nicholas Mey, Warrener ‘and also my copy of ye Wareyn’
1662 Will of George Childerston Warrener has accompanying Inventory which lists ‘at the warren lodge one bed with a flockbed 3 ould hayes or netts and other implements belomging to the warrener’.
1696 Will of Henry Coates ‘the benefit of the termes of years of the warren lease’
[WAROB IC500/1/36/24, WSROB 633/1-2, WSROB IC500/1/15D/119]
Other documentary evidence
London poulters and skinners had contracts with individual warreners for the supply of rabbits. Merchants from London traded with Mildenhall’s Edmund Cote, a skinner and Robert Dobson, a dyer, in the fifteenth century.[WSROB E18/452/69, WSROB EF/550/1/82]
One section of the perimeter suggests abutment on to medieval cultivation and this may reflect the inclusion of arable land into the warren in 1425 when William Gaylon was awarded eighteen acres in recompense for his own arable lands which ‘now lay within the warren’.
1614 Inquiry into timber on manor of Mildenhall
The first enclosure appears to have been confined to the western half and by 1824 Bryant’s Map shows shelter belts around the enclosed fields. The warren is limited to the eastern half of the original extent.
The Tithe Map of 1859 shows the parcel of land marked as ‘Three Hills’ as arable but the 1885 and 1928 OS maps indicate this as ‘warren’. This is perhaps an instance of an area ploughed when grain prices were high but allowed to revert when falling profits meant it was no longer viable to risk expenditure on such marginal land.
High Lodge Farm is the only farmstead on the warren, a reflection of the poor, acidic, sandy soil. The 1911 Sale Particulars of the Woodlands Estate include High Lodge Farm and may give some idea of the mixed farming: ‘the buildings comprise stable for six horses with chaff and roothouses adjoining and horse yard with open shedding, open cow shed for ten cows and cow yard, corn barn with boarded dressing floor, four-bay wagon lodge with granary over, stock yard with pen shedding and bullock boxes and range of piggeries’. [WSROB E18/456/1, WSROB EF/550/1/82, WSROB E18/452/134]
The Enclosure Map for Mildenhall Parish is dated 1807 and the warren is shown as occupying 1066 acres. Transverse roads cross it including the turnpike from Barton Mills to Brandon – the toll house is still there in the north-west corner of the warren. Ogilvie’s linear ‘Travellers Guide’ of 1675 shows three roads crossing the warren. [WSROB QR1/30A, WSROB Q/SH/72]
Maps of Parish 1834 Estate Maps, Terriers and Surveys E18/454/5-14 and E18/400 (may include Eriswell). [WSROB EF/550/1/82 and 1851 EF505/1/83]’
The Forestry Commission bought the land in 1932.
The manor was included in the Duchy of Lancaster lands after The Dissolution and leased to Sir Nicholas Bacon. [WSROB E18/451/1-67 ]
Northern perimeter boundary bank is a single bank, virtually complete except for where forestry access tracks or footpaths cross it. Only 0.8 to 1 metre high and 4 metres in width.
Southern boundary bank runs parallel to Barton Mills to Icklingham road, just within forestry plantation. Is a single bank only 0.5 metres high and about 4 metres wide. Eastern boundary very low bank from north-east corner for c 400m then interrupted by A11 crossing. On south side of A11 bank at first on edge of track but then peters out in heath at Three Hills.
Possible bank to west of gravel working area – may have separated area of warren to east which remained as warren when rest planted with firs in 1800s.
At TL74067556. The warren lodge is a standing building about 7 metres square and of two storeys. Its walls are of flint rubble-core with a knapped flint facing. The four original window and door openings with stone dressings survive (in the same position as at Thetford) and the corner stones are of dressed limestone which may have come from the earlier church at Mildenhall. Roofless. Evidence of an additional lean-to on the north and east-facing elevations and on the east the foundations of this lean-to are visible – with low clunch walls, brick flooring and a copper and functioning waste pipe.
Brick-lined Well to west of warren lodge. Estimated to be 60 feet deep.
There may have been a second lodge at Three Hills in the south-east corner of the warren but no trace survives and the site is not named on Hodskinson’s 1783 Map, suggesting that any lodge had disappeared by that date