The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 
In 1271 June 9, Willielmus Belet (William Belet) was granted, by Henry III, (In year 55 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Marham (Marham Castle)
Licence to William Belet and his heirs to crenellate his house of Marham, co. Norfolk. (CPR)

Willielmus Belet ... domum suam ... Marham, Norf. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster.


See Coulson (2003) pp131-133 for details of the licencing and the reasons for this minor site being called a castle. "The work was alleged to injurious to Norwich castle. Local friction, and possibly the role of the Isle of Ely and of Cambridge in 1266-7, was the cause. The licence was evidently upheld since nothing was done over this very minor castellum.

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;

William Belet
Gatehouse can find no biographical details for William Belet. No evidence of royal service but was granted respite from service in 1256 (along with William le Moyne - see Orge licence of 1267 Feb 25)

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.