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The warren lodges of the Brecks

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Thetford Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Thetford Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

Archant 2017

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 Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Thetford Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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 Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Thetford Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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

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 Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Mildenhall Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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.

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 Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Mildenhall Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Mildenhall Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Mildenhall Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Mildenhall Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Mildenhall Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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

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

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Ickburgh Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Ickburgh Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Ickburgh Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Ickburgh Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Ickburgh Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Ickburgh Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

The Warren's found in Thetford forest.
Thetford Warren
Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2018The Warren's found in Thetford forest. Thetford Warren Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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