WARREN, properly an old term of the English forest law, derived from the O. Fr. warenne, varenne, garenne (med. Lat. warenna, warir, to guard, cf. " ward "), and applied to one of the three lesser franchises, together with " chase " and " park," included under the highest franchise, the " forest," and ranking last in order of importance. The " beasts of warren " were the hare, the coney (i.e. rabbit), the pheasant and the partridge. The word thus became used of a piece of ground preserved for these beasts of warren. It is now applied loosely to any piece of ground, whether preserved or not, where rabbits breed (see FOREST LAWS).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)