The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In c. 1194, Ricardo de Vernone (Richard Vernon) was granted, by John, Count of Mortain, a Uncertain licence to crenellate Heddon (Haddon Hall)
Johannes Comes Moret{onie} Justiciariis, Vicecomitibus ballivis, ministris et omnibus fidelibus suis salutem. Sciatis me concessisse et licentiam dedisse Ricardo de Vern^ {one} firmandi domum suam de Heddon' muro exaltato xii pedibus sine kerello et {idcirco?}^ prohibeo ne quis v{est}r{u}m eum inde disturbet.
Teste Roberto de Mara, apud Clipeston{am}
^Document damaged here

Granted at Clipstone.

This licence was specifically for defences without crenellations.


Licence to strengthen his house at Haddon with a wall twelve feet high but without crenellations. Called a licence to crenellate by Williams although clearly exactly not this. Actually a supportive statement issued by Count John, who was to become King John, because of Vernon's local difficulties.

Original source is;

(In fact, the original source given is usually a transcription/translation of what are precious medieval documents not readily availably. It should be noted that these transcription/translations often date to the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries and that unwitting bias of transcribers may affect the translation. Care should also be taken to avoid giving modern meaning to the medieval use of certain stock words and terms. Licentia is best translated as 'freedom to' not 'permission'.)

Significant later sources are;

The Vernon's were local gentry, who originated from a Conquest knight. Gatehouse can not find biographical details of this specific Richard although clearly of the knightly class.

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

Please do inform Gatehouse if you see any errors, can add information or can otherwise help to improve this resource. Please contact Gatehouse.

Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.