Work will ensure Mildenhall Warren Lodge’s survival

Mildenhall Warren Lodge, one of only two left standing, is undergoing renovations that will ensure it remains for another six centuries.

Work to preserve the historic structure includes the addition of a roof, which has been based upon a picture dated to the 1930s.

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

The lodge itself is believed to date back to the 1320s and was the home of the warrener who farmed rabbits.

Chairman of The Friends of Thetford Forest, Anne Mason, said: “Along with working flint it was the main business in the Brecks for 600 years and what’s amazing is it has virtually disappeared from people’s consciousness.”

Rabbits were an expensive delicacy and would only have be eaten and worn by those of manorial class and above.

After the practice died out the lodge housed gamekeepers, prisoners of war and a young married couple as recently as the 1950s.

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

In 2000 the Friend of Thetford Forest were approached to organise and fund-raise repairs after the lodge was placed on English Heritage’s buildings at risk register.

Harsh weather conditions have caused further damage and it is hoped the addition of a roof will provide a more permanent solution.

Heritage conservators R J Hogg and architect Tim Buxbaum are working on structure.

Foreman, Andrew Cunningham, explained the intricate processes that go into conserving historic structures.

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

Anne Mason from the Friends of Thetford Forest's with Andrew Cunningham at Mildenhall Warren Lodge

The precision of their work includes creating a lime mortar mix as similar as possible to that originally used.

Materials are sourced locally where possible and the wood for the roof is from the public forest estate.

Mildenhall Warren Lodge will hold a heritage open day on Sunday.

Between 11am and 4pm the Friends of Thetford Forest will be on hand to discuss the history of this fascinating building and point out some of its hidden treasures - including a range and bed.

Visitors can also travel on a signposted walk to learn more about the lodge.