The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1264 Feb 23, Ralph de Bakepuz was granted, by Henry III, (In year 48 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Ceddre (Cheddar Manor of Ralph Bakepuz)
Licence for Ralph de Bakepuz and his heirs to enclose his house of Ceddre, co. Somerset, with a wall of stone and lime, and to crenellate it at their will. (CPR)

Granted at Canterbury.


This house can not have been the Cheddar palace but some other manor in the parish; there seem to have been four altogether. Unfortunately the presence of the palace has rather overwhelmed the historical and archaeological record of the manor and Gatehouse has not identified Ralph's manor.

If a sub manor and if Ralph was a younger son then confirmation of ownership may be the prime reason for the licence.

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'.)

Ralph de Bakepuz
Ralph does appear as a witness on several of the Charters issued by Henry III (Maitland), which means he was either a courtier and/or a government clerk. The Bakepuz family date to the Conquest, a Ralph (de Bacquepuis) is recorded as an under-tenant of Henry de Ferrers for a few manors (but not Cheddar) in Domesday. From what little biographical detail there is this Ralph seems to have been a younger son and did not inherit the Bakepuz properties, of which the caput seems to be Kingston Bagpuize, Berkshire (VCH Berks. Vol. 4)

Biographical source include;

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.