Rabbit Warrens

Rabbits were an important component of the medieval and later farming landscape. In order to efficiently farm rabbits, artificial warrens were constructed, called ‘pillow mounds’ by archaeologists on account of their shape. These mounds are common across southern Britain , but are not well recorded in south-west Wales . The aim of this project was to assess the condition of know sites in the region and make recommendations for the best examples to be given statutory protection.

Most pillow mounds in south-west Wales are found on marginal land, on coast edges or upland fringes, and probably date to the 18 th and 19 th centuries, although the largest warren in south-west Wales with over 30 pillow mounds at Bryn Cesegrfan near Lampeter is considered to be late medieval in date. Most pillow mounds are of the common low rectangular form, but several in Pembrokeshire are cross-shaped.

Good examples of upland pillow mounds in Carmarthenshire

Rabbit Warrens Report 2013 (PDF format – opens in a new window – 11.7MB file size)

Heneb - The Trust for Welsh Archaeology