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Pillow mound 280m south west of Surrendell Farm

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Pillow mound 280m south west of Surrendell Farm

List entry Number: 1018610

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County:

District: Wiltshire

District Type: Unitary Authority

Parish: Hullavington

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 15-Feb-1999

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 31649

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

The pillow mound 280m south west of Surrendell Farm survives well and is a good example of a pillow mound providing significent insight into the economy of the area. Early field names support evidence for the area's use as a rabbit warren.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a rabbit warren in the form of a pillow mound located to the south west of Surrendell Farm on low lying limestone to the west of the village of Hullavington. The monument includes a low, regular, sub-rectangular mound with side ditches from which earth was taken for the mound's construction. The mound is up to 0.7m high, 36m long and 9m wide. The side ditches are up to 0.3m deep and 1m wide. It is orientated north-south on a gentle south facing slope. The field in which the pillow mound lies was known as Conyger in a 1665 survey and Conygre on the tythe map of 1841; the name is indicative of a rabbit warren.

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.

Selected Sources

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details

National Grid Reference: ST 87157 81993

Map

Map
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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 - 1018610 .pdf

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This copy shows the entry on 18-Dec-2017 at 01:24:52.

End of official listing