The warren lodges of the Brecks

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

For more than 600 years the Brecks was famed for its rabbits which were farmed for their meat and fur.

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Across the landscape stood 25 warrens in which the rabbits were nurtured, protected and trapped by a warrener.

Some of these warrens, including Thetford and Lakenheath, had perimeters which stretched between eight and 10 miles.

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

At the highest point of the warren a lodge was built.

Many of these warrens were owned by monasteries and 19 of them date back to the Medieval period.

Thetford Warren Lodge. In 1935 the wings were destroyed by fire. Picture: Norfolk Museum Services

Thetford Warren Lodge. In 1935 the wings were destroyed by fire. Picture: Norfolk Museum Services - Credit: Archant


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Although many have since disappeared, two of these lodges stand proud as a reminder of a lost industry.

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Thetford Warren was believed to have been built in the late 13th century by the monks of Thetford priory. And the Abbey at Bury St Edmunds was receiving income from Mildenhall warren in 1323.

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One corner of the 500-year-old Langford Warren Lodge, in Thetford Forest at Ickburgh, also remains.

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Mildenhall WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Mildenhall Warren Lodge in the 1930s. Picture: Mildenhall Museum

Mildenhall Warren Lodge in the 1930s. Picture: Mildenhall Museum - Credit: Archant

Mildenhall Warren Lodge pictured in the lare 1950s. Picture: Mildenhall Museum

Mildenhall Warren Lodge pictured in the lare 1950s. Picture: Mildenhall Museum - Credit: Archant

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Ickburgh WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.Thetford WarrenByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2018 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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