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Warrening enclosure at Longdale Howl, 400m west of the Adder Stone

A Scheduled Monument in Allerston, North Yorkshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 54.2983 / 54°17'53"N

Longitude: -0.6585 / 0°39'30"W

OS Eastings: 487400.280001

OS Northings: 490020.465002

OS Grid: SE874900

Mapcode National: GBR RLVQ.7Y

Mapcode Global: WHGBW.V7L5

Entry Name: Warrening enclosure at Longdale Howl, 400m west of the Adder Stone

Scheduled Date: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020681

English Heritage Legacy ID: 34617

County: North Yorkshire

Civil Parish: Allerston

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): North Yorkshire

Details

The monument includes a walled warrening enclosure situated on level
ground, in a clearing in a mature conifer plantation approximately 40m
south of a forestry track, towards the southern fringe of the Tabular
Hills.
The enclosure, measuring 7 sq m, has dry stone walls 0.4m thick and up to
0.7m high. Towards the north east side of the enclosure is a rabbit type.
The type, consisting of circular stone-lined flared pit, measures 0.7m
across its top, 1.3m across its base and is 1.0m deep.
The enclosure was part of High Dalby Warren. This extensive warren, first
recorded in 1776 and managed from a farmstead at High Dalby in Dalby Dale,
was bounded to the north by Staindale Beck, to the east by Dixon's Slack,
to the south by Seive Dale and to the west by Dalby Beck. Warrening is
thought to have continued in this area until the end of the 19th 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 at Longdale Howl, 400m west of the Adder Stone, is
thought to date from the 18th to 19th centuries. It is one of the best
preserved examples in the area. 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)
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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