The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1306 Sept 16, Walterus de Langton, Coventr. et Lych., Episcopus (Bishop Walter de Langton) was granted, by Edward I, (In year 34 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Beudesert (Beaudesert Hall)
Licence for Walter de Langeton, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, to crenellate the houses he is having made at Beudesert and Asheby David or elsewhere in England, wherever he pleases. By p.s. (CPR)

Walterus de Langton, Coventr. et Lych., Episcopus ... domos quas fieri fecit apud Beudesert et Asheby David et alibi per omnia loca quae idem episcopus habet in Anglia ... Beudesert Asheby David, Warr., Northt. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Blenkinsop. Grant by privy seal.


The current ruins are of a late C15 house and may represent a new site the original bishops house may have been a rebuild of the C11-C12 Royal hunting lodge at Cannock. Thompson writes "Bishop Langton received, in 1306, a licence to crenellate Beaudesert, Staffs and Ashby, Northants and all episocopal palaces in England."

This licence is often identified with Beaudesert Castle, Warwickshire, but that castle was not a property of the bishop's. That misidentification come from a mistaken understanding of the nature of licences to crenellate.

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;

Langton, Walter (d. 1321)’
Langton, Walter (d. 1321), administrator and bishop of Coventry and Lichfield... Guisborough describes Langton as a poor clerk; elsewhere he is said to have been in Edward I's service from his youth. Appearing first as a wardrobe clerk in 1281–2... In 1305 he was a member of an embassy sent to Lyons to secure papal absolution from Edward's oath to maintain the charters, and attended Clement V's consecration on 14 November. On 2 July 1306, jointly with Archbishop William Greenfield of York (d. 1315), Langton was appointed keeper of the realm during Edward I's absence in Scotland. (Haines)

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.