The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1253 July 5, Richard, Earl of Cornwall was granted, by Henry III, (In year 37 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate on the hill above his manor of Mere (Mere Castle Hill)
Grant to R. earl of Cornwall, that on the hill above his manor of Mere he may build and fortify a castle of stone and lime, to hold for his life, with reversion to the male issue of him and Senchia his wife, and failing such to the king or his heirs, without claim or hindrance of the heirs of the said earl.
By K.
These letters are with the queen. (CPR)

Granted at Portsmouth. Grant by King.

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;

Richard, first earl of Cornwall and king of Germany (1209–1272),
Richard, first earl of Cornwall and king of Germany (1209–1272), was born at Winchester on 5 January 1209, the second son of King John (1167–1216) and his queen, Isabella of Angoulême (c.1188–1246). Brother of Henry III. At this time Richard was just about to become chief counsel to Queen Eleanor, who was to act as regent while Henry III was in Gascony, although, in fact Richard was to have the regnal power. The licence seems to be a royal 'blessing' and token, given at Portsmouth, as the king was about to depart. Richard was one of the few people granted a licence who would have had the money to build and garrison a military stronghold but Mere was a relatively modest castle.

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 Sunday, October 4, 2015.