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In 1268, Bishop Godfrey Giffard was possibly granted, by Henry III, a Royal licence to crenellate (Hartlebury Castle)

There is insufficient evidence to be certain about this possible licence to crenellate. (Some licences may be lost from record and others may have wrongly presumed to have been granted or may be total inventions.)


Reference seems originally to come from Pearce who quotes the Liber Albus of the Bishops of Worcester, f. 456, which contains an entry that Bishop Walter de Cantilupe had begun a castle; Bishop Godfrey Giffard was granted leave to crenellate. King also writes "It is to be noted that this licence is not entered in the rolls." This may be a misinterpretation based on a belief that castles had to have a licence. However note the licences granted to Bishop Godfrey in 1271 for "houses within his close of Worcester" and for his manor house at Withington, in Gloucestershire. Has there been some misinterpretation of the 'houses within .. Worcester{shire}? Clearly Giffard thought obtaining a licences for other properties was worthwhile (indeed for a man of his status and political connections it may well have been considered de rigour ) and he may well therefore of obtained a licence for his prime episcopal residence at Hartlebury and this may be a genuine 'ghost' licence.

Significant later sources are;

Giffard, Godfrey (1235?–1302)
Godfrey Giffard, (c. 1235 – 1302) was Chancellor of the Exchequer of England, Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Worcester.

Biographical source include;

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

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Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Monday, October 21, 2013.