Rabbit warren and four bowl barrows on Stagbury Hill, Furzley Common


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Rabbit warren and four bowl barrows on Stagbury Hill, Furzley Common
© Crown Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2020. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1016490.pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 27-Feb-2020 at 01:24:16.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

New Forest (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SU 28619 16062

Reasons for Designation

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally across most of lowland Britain, often occupying prominent locations. The rabbit warren and four bowl barrows on Stagbury Hill, Furzley Common, survive comparatively well despite the hill's later use for an Ordnance Survey triangulation point and some disturbance by modern paths and stock tracks. They can be expected to retain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to their construction and use, and the landscape in which they were built. The monument's proximity to additional round barrows on Furzley Common and rabbit warrens of similar type on Half Moon Common demonstrates the importance of the area as a site of Bronze Age ritual activity and later for the medieval or post-medieval breeding and management of rabbits or hares.


The monument includes a rabbit warren of medieval or post-medieval date containing four bowl barrows of late Neolithic or Bronze Age date prominently situated within the New Forest on Stagbury Hill, Furzley Common. The rabbit warren takes up most of the hill, a sandy knoll which rises up to 8m above the surrounding heath. It forms an oval shaped area of approximately 0.4ha, enclosed by a shallow ditch, 2m wide, flanked by inner and outer banks, up to 1.3m high. To the south west, where the hill slopes most steeply, the ditch is replaced by a 2m wide ledge. The location of the warrener's house is indicated by a rectangular platform, 4.5m by 3.5m, situated within the enclosure at the south end. Buried structural remains associated with the house and further buried remains associated with the use of the warren, including drainage ditches and vermin traps, can be expected to survive within the monument. For rabbit breeding areas, in place of rabbit buries, the warren makes use of the four earlier bowl barrows which are located within the enclosure, along the central spine of the hill. They survive as circular or oval shaped mounds, ranging from 8m to 17m in diameter and from 0.7m to 1.4m in height. The most impressive barrow, to the north, includes a surrounding ditch, 3m wide and 0.4m deep, and an outer bank, 3m wide and 0.4m high. Although no longer visible, quarry ditches may also survive as buried features surrounding the other mounds, now infilled by their later use. All four barrows have been disturbed by their use as rabbit buries and the whole monument has been disturbed by the modern construction and use of an Ordnance Survey triangulation point and recreational tracks and paths. The Ordnance Survey triangulation point located on the monument is excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath it is included.

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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Crosby, A D, (1998)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

Your Contributions

Do you know more about this entry?

The following information has been contributed by users volunteering for our Enriching The List project. For small corrections to the List Entry please see our Minor Amendments procedure.

The information and images below are the opinion of the contributor, are not part of the official entry and do not represent the official position of Historic England. We have not checked that the contributions below are factually accurate. Please see our terms and conditions. If you wish to report an issue with a contribution or have a question please email [email protected].