The present Warren Cottage probably dates from the middle of the 19th century, replacing an earlier building dating from the the 17th century. Unusually for the area, it is built of brick.
A brick building
Warren Cottage is an attractive building located to the west of the central lake area, just inside the Warren earthwork. Unusually for the area, it is built of fine bricks, rather than being half timbered, like Forest Lodge.
Bricks were normally reserved for fine country houses or limited to chimney stacks. One end is dominated by a full sized chimney which houses a walk in fireplace on the inside.
An earlier building?
Records from 1639 indicate that then owner of Hatfield Forest, Lord Morley, was fined for "making Coney Burroughs and erecting a Cottage".
Later records indicate that a cottage was built of brick in the late 1680's when the estate was owned by Sir Edward Turnor. During this period there was a brief revival of interest in the Warren and a dwelling was provided for the warrener. The bricks were made locally by Richard Wyborough of Little Hallingbury.
The 1757 Hollingworth-Lander map of Hatfield Forest shows "Warren House".
The present building
There appears, however, to be some dispute over the date of the present building. Rackham, in "The Last Forest", suggests that the present building dates back to the 1680's, albeit with later additions and alterations. The "Victoria County History of Essex" , in the section on the parish of Hatfield Broad Oak, declares that it is "a 19th century brick cottage on or near the site of an earlier one, perhaps that mentioned in the later 17th century as the warrener's dwelling".
Cottage or House?
What is the correct name of the building? There seems to be some disagreement about whether it is Warren House or Warren Cottage.
The Ordnance Survey maps, as far back as the first 6 inch edition of the 1870's, refer to "Warren House", whilst the"The Last Forest" and National Trust literature refer to "Warren Cottage".
The cottage and its garden are private.