Back in medieval England rabbits were not bred in cages but in specially crafted earthen burrows called warrens, or pillow mounds. These were heaps of earth with multiple, well-ventilated inner chambers where rabbits mated, gave birth and raised their families. The pillow-like mounds were often built in oblong shape and sometimes were connected with each other with stone-lined tunnels. To prevent the rabbits from escaping, a field of pillow mounds was surrounded by a moat, or ditch filled with water. A fence provided protection from predators. Many warrens were accompanied by a lodge and a watchtower where the warrener lived.
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Pillow mounds in Dartmoor. Photo: www.dartmoorcam.co.uk