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Warrening enclosure 1.3km north west of Givendale Head Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Allerston, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2795 / 54°16'46"N

Longitude: -0.6483 / 0°38'54"W

OS Eastings: 488103.014891

OS Northings: 487938.71132

OS Grid: SE881879

Mapcode National: GBR RLXY.FP

Mapcode Global: WHGBX.0PKM

Entry Name: Warrening enclosure 1.3km north west of Givendale Head Farm

Scheduled Date: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020678

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34606

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Allerston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Details

The monument includes an embanked warrening enclosure situated on
undulating ground, in a mature conifer plantation towards the southern
fringe of the Tabular Hills. The monument is divided by forestry tracks
into three separate areas of protection, and includes surviving upstanding
boundary banks surmounted with dry stone walling, a rabbit type or trap
built into the bank of the north eastern side of the enclosure, a rabbit
type located at the western angle of the enclosure and a warrening storage
building constructed on to the outer face of the north western side of the
enclosure.
The warrening enclosure was originally sub-square in plan, measuring
approximately 300m by 250m, orientated north west to south east. The
widening of a forestry track has since destroyed the upstanding remains of
the south eastern side of the enclosure, which is therefore not included
in the protected area. The three remaining sides of the enclosure consist
of a continous earthen bank 3m wide and up to 1m high, surmounted with dry
stone walling up to 0.3m high, except where a forestry trackway has cut
through the north eastern and south western sides of the enclosure,
destroying 15m stretches of the bank and wall. A rabbit type is built into
the inside of the north eastern bank of the enclosure and is identified as
`Old Rabbit Type' on the 1913 Ordnance Survey map. The type consists of a
sub-rectangular stone-lined pit, measuring 1.7 sq m and 0.5m deep, and is
partially filled with stone rubble. A second type is located at the
western angle of the enclosure. The type consists of a square stone-lined
flared pit, measuring 0.75 sq m at its surface, 1.0 sq m at its bottom and
0.5m deep. The type is built into the north eastern corner of a
rectangular stone mound, measuring 5m long, 4m wide and 0.3m high.
Attached to the outer face of the north western side of the enclosure,
approximately 100m from its northern corner, is what is thought to be a
warrening storage building. The building, which is thought to have been
used to store rabbit feed, tools and other warrening materials, measures
6 sq m, with walls 0.8m high and 0.6m thick. The inside of the building is
obscured by rubble.
This warrening enclosure is thought to date from the early 19th century
and continued in use until the end of that century.

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.

Most traces of post-medieval warrening have been swept away by later
land-use changes. Today those remains in Dalby and the adjacent forests
are virtually all that are known to survive in north eastern England.
Together with surviving farm warren features in Wykeham Forest, the farm
and extensive warrens in Dalby form nationally rare survivals of the range
of post-medieval warrening remains.
The warrening enclosure 1.3km north west of Givendale Head Farm is thought
to date from the early 19th century. Despite the destruction of the south
eastern side of the warrening enclosure, the remaining parts of the
enclosure retain features once commonly associated with rabbit warrening;
notably the surviving enclosure bank and dry stone walling, two
well-preserved rabbit types and a warrening storage building. This
warrening enclosure is, therefore, a particularly rare and important
survival. In addition, it will provide important information on the size,
nature, management and development of 17th to 19th century warrens.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Dalby Forest Survey, (1996)
Dalby Forest Survey, (1996)
Dalby Forest Survey, (1996)
Dalby Forest Survey, (1996)
Harris, A, Spratt, D A, 'Yorkshire Archaeological Journal' in The Rabbit Warrens of the Tabular Hills, North Yorkshire, (1991), 177-206

Source: Historic England

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