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 1311 Feb 9, Willielmus le Wauton was granted, by Edward II, (In year 4 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Crumhale (Cromhall)
Licence to William de Wauton to crenellate his chamber within his dwelling house of Crumhale, co. Gloucester. By p.s. (CPR)

Willielmus le Wauton ... cameram suam infra mansum suum ... Crumhale, Glouc. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Berwick-on-Tweed. Grant by privy seal.


Quite what the unusual term 'cameram suam infra mansum suum' means is unclear. Probably a crenellated tower attached to a timber hall range (i.e. a pele tower) and the granting of this in Berwick upon Tweed may suggest Wauton was involved in Border affairs and was transferring border architecture to Gloucestershire. The Cromhall manor, in Gloucestershire, may have been newly purchased by Wauton (or newly 'granted' to him) and gave him a house near to Berkeley Castle allowing to fulfill his obligations to Maurice de Berkeley. Away from his home in Essex he may have felt more need to assert his status.

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 de Wauton.
Moderate minor royal service in 1290's such as Justice of gaol delivery at Colchester in 1294. Summond 6 times for military service. Knight for shire of Essex in 1305 and 1311. Keeper of the Peace for Essex in 1314 and 1316 and Warden of the Coast from the Thames to Ipswich in 1316 (Illsley, 1971) lost lands after joining the barons rebellion in 1322.

'William de Wauton... is a more shadowy figure, if only because, like Blount, it might be difficult to distinguish him from others with the same name. Nor is it possible to establish estimated terminal dates for him, as it is for the others. In 1277 he performed the service due from Robert FitzWalter and was granted protection accordingly. He served again with FitzWalter in 1303, but was summoned individually to serve against the Scots in 1314, though he should have been in his fifties by 1314 if he was in his early twenties in 1277. A William de Wauton, who may or may not have been the same man, appeared also in the Household in 1281-2, in Gascony in 1295, again with FitzWalter in Flanders in the retinue of Aymer de Valence in 1297, in the retinue of Maurice de Berkeley in 1299-1300, and with Maurice de Berkely the elder in 1320. It is difficult to be certain that all of these entries relate to the same man. Those for 1277, 1295 and 1303 raise no immediate problems in the sense that they do identify William with Essex through Robert FitzWalter. There is no evidence of a tenurial connection between FitzWalter and Wauton, but they both held the bulk of their estates in Chelmsford Hundred and in the absence of any evidence to the contrary a tenurial relationship cannot be ruled out. Other kinds of relationships, for example retaining fees, would be unusual at this time , and very hard to find, like looking for a needle in a field of haystacks. On the other hand Wauton may have had the same kind of relationship with FitzWalter as Wascoil and Bouser had with the Earl of Oxford, that is to say informal familiars who benefited in some way from and association with a great man. Both FitzWalter and Wauton made a recognizance of a debt to the Earl of Cornwall in 1280, and a John de Wauton, perhaps a son, appears with five others serving in the retinue of Robert FitzWalter in 1322, which might suggest some kind of hereditary obligation.' (Illsley, 1971)

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.