Medieval Rabbit Warrens

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.

Rabbit Warrens

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Pillow mounds in Dartmoor. Photo:


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