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Thetford Warren Lodge

In the civil parish of Thetford.
In the historic county of Norfolk.
Modern Authority of Norfolk.
1974 county of Norfolk.
Medieval County of Suffolk.

OS Map Grid Reference: TL83938406
Latitude 52.42362° Longitude 0.70358°

Thetford Warren Lodge has been described as a probable Pele Tower.

There are major building remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.
This is a Grade 2* listed building protected by law*.

Description

Thetford Warren Lodge is a rectangular building of two storeys measuring circa 8.5m NNE-SSW by 5.8m. The walls, which stand for the most part to almost their full original height and are up to 1m thick at ground floor level, are constructed of mortared flint rubble with some brick and tile and with limestone dressings which include many reused architectural fragments of C12 type. The floor of the upper storey no longer survives. Thetford Warren Lodge is generally considered to have been built circa 1400, and to have been occupied by the gamekeeper of the Cluniac Priory of St Mary, Thetford. The character of the building is indicative of high status, and its interior features and fittings are consistent with it having been intended as a hunting lodge to accommodate hunting parties rather than a gamekeeper alone. (PastScape)

Thetford Warren Lodge retains many original features and is a rare example of its kind. It is a rectangular tower-house built of mortared flint rubble and reused stones, some of which are reddened and were probably removed from the nearby priory after a fire. The walls were substantial – up to 1 metre thick at floor level – and stand for the most part to almost their original height. The limestone dressings also include many reused 12th century architectural fragments. The level of the upper storey is marked by an offset on the interior face of the walls. The lodge had numerous defensive features, including a parapet from which the gamekeeper could look out over what was then open country. The lower windows are narrow loops and the single entrance has a meutrière or murder-hole – a chute over the porch down which missiles and boiling liquids could be delivered onto unwelcome visitors. (English Heritage web site)
Comments

Someone at English Heritage has let their imagination get ahead of them. The function of this, and indeed most, meutrière is to poor water onto fires set against the wooden door.
Links to archaeological and architectural databases, mapping and other online resources

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Sources of information, references and further reading
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*The listed building may not be the actual medieval building, but a building on the site of, or incorporating fragments of, the described site.
This record last updated 11/04/2017 08:35:19

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