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Three pillow mounds 810m NNE of Kern Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Brading, Isle of Wight

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.6781 / 50°40'41"N

Longitude: -1.1715 / 1°10'17"W

OS Eastings: 458633.786769

OS Northings: 86821.889243

OS Grid: SZ586868

Mapcode National: GBR 9D6.JLQ

Mapcode Global: FRA 87F8.X11

Entry Name: Three pillow mounds 810m NNE of Kern Farm

Scheduled Date: 18 July 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019194

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33954

County: Isle of Wight

Civil Parish: Brading

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight

Church of England Parish: Brading St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Details

The monument, which lies within two areas of protection, includes three pillow
mounds spread over a distance of 150m on the south facing slope of a chalk
ridge which form the remains of a small unenclosed rabbit warren of medieval
or post medieval date.
The mounds are rectangular in plan and vary between 12.5m and 15m in length,
4.5m to 6m in width and 0.5m to 0.8m in height, with their long axes
orientated roughly east to west. The western mound is further up the slope
than the central and eastern mounds which are connected by a sinuous V-shaped
ditch 1.5m in width, 0.5m in depth and 70m in length, probably representing a
drainage feature.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A warren is an area of land set aside for the breeding and management of
rabbits or hares in order to provide a constant supply of fresh meat and
skins. Although the hare is an indigenous species, the tradition of warren
construction and use dates from the 12th century, following the introduction
of rabbits into England from the continent. Warrens usually contain a number
of purpose-built breeding places known as pillow mounds or rabbit buries,
which were intended to centralise the colony and make catching the animals
easier, whether using nets, ferrets or dogs. The mounds vary in design
although rarely exceeding 0.7m in height. Earlier monuments such as burial
mounds, boundary features and mottes were sometimes reused as breeding places.
The mounds are usually surrounded by ditches and contain underlying channels
or are situated on sloping ground to facilitate drainage. The interior of the
mound may also contain nesting places constructed of stone slabs or cut into
the underlying subsoil or bedrock.
A typical warren may contain between one and forty pillow mounds or rabbit
buries and occupy an area up to c.600ha. Many warrens were enclosed by a bank,
hedge or wall intended to contain and protect the stock. Other features
associated with the warren include vermin traps (usually a dead-fall mechanism
within a small tunnel), and more rarely traps for the warren stock (known in
Yorkshire as `types') which could contain the animals unharmed and allow for
selective culling. Larger warrens might include living quarters for the
warrener who kept charge of the site, sometimes surrounded by an enclosed
garden and outbuildings.
Early warrens were mostly associated with the higher levels of society;
however, they gradually spread in popularity so that by the 16th and 17th
centuries they were a common feature on most manors and estates throughout the
country. Warrens continued in use until fairly recent times, finally declining
in the face of 19th and 20th century changes in agricultural practice, and the
onset of myxomatosis. Warrens are found in all parts of England, the earliest
examples lying in the southern part of the country. Approximately 1,000 -
2,000 examples are known nationally with concentrations in upland areas, on
heathland and in coastal zones. The profits from a successfully managed warren
could, however, be considerable and many areas in lowland England were set
aside for warrens at the expense of agricultural land. Although relatively
common, warrens are important for their associations with other classes of
monument, including various forms of settlement, deer parks, field systems and
fishponds. They may also provide evidence of the economy of both secular and
ecclesiastical estates. All well preserved medieval examples are considered
worthy of protection. A sample of well preserved sites of later date will also
merit protection.

The remains of the three pillow mounds 810m NNE of Kern Farm survive well as
a series of earthworks and buried deposits. The mounds appear to have remained
undisturbed since their abandonment and the survival of archaeological
deposits relating to their construction and use is likely to be good.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
Isle of Wight Council, 2103,
Isle of Wight Council, 2104,
Isle of Wight Council, 2105,
Isle of Wight Council, 89B2-07, (1989)

Source: Historic England

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