The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1311 Sept 29, Hugo le Despenser, senior was granted, by Edward II, (In year 5 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate omnes domos et cameras in quibuscunque maneriis suis in regno nostro
Licence for Hugh le Despenser, the elder, to crenellate all his dwelling-houses and chambers in his manors throughout the realm. By K. (CPR)

Hugo le Despenser, senior ... omnes domos et cameras in quibuscunque maneriis suis in regno nostro. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at London. Grant by King.


Given his considerable holdings the cost of even modest rebuilding of ALL his holdings would have been prohibitive. It is likely this licence is entirely intended as a symbolic statement of royal favour rather than as any intent to build anything in particular.

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;

Despenser, Hugh, the elder, earl of Winchester (1261–1326)
Ardent royalist and stood virtually alone in supporting the king's favourite Piers Gaveston.

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.