The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1293 June 15, Hugo de Frene (Hugh de Frene: de Freyne; de Frenes) was granted, by Edward I, (In year 21 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Mockes (Moccas Castle)
Licence, for Hugh de Frene, to strengthen his house of Mockes, co. Hereford, with a wall of stone and lime, without tower or turret (absque turri sen turella) and to crenellate it so that the wall below the crenellation be ten feet high. By K. (CPR)

Muro de petra et calce absque turri seu turella firmare et Kernellare, ita quod murus ille subtus kernellieram sit altitudinis decem pedum. (Turner and Parker p. 404n.r)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King.


King writes "It was to be 'absque turri seu turella' and less than ten feet high below the crenellations. Such a wall, on top of even a weak earthwork, would be a much more formidable obstacle than it sounds; nevertheless, the place can never have been strong." Coulson writes "Local sensitivity may be inferred at Moccas ... Licence was issued after seizure for unlicenced work at Easter 1293. The licence is of a type used e.g. by the counts of Champagne to avert provocative assertiveness... rare English instance of licensing being used to mollify friction."

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;

Hugh de Frene
A Hugh de Frene, knight (d.1359) is famous for the abduction, 'rape' and marriage to Alice de Lacy, countess of Lincoln and he became earl of Lincoln in his wife's right. Various dates of birth are given, for Hugh, including 1277 and 1286 which suggest this licence may have been for his father (who may have died in 1336), although there does not seem to be an authoritative genealogy. Almost certainly a knight, probably involved in the Welsh wars but no evidence of specific royal service.

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.