The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1337 Aug 2, Matilda quae fuit uxor Willielmi de Ferrers [Feriers], chivaler (Mathilda, widow of William Ferrars) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 11 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Byr (Bere Barton, Bere Ferrers)
Licence for Matilda late the wife of William de Ferrers, knight, to crenellate her dwelling-place of Byr, co. Devon. By p.s. (CPR)

Matilda quae fuit uxor Willielmi de Ferrers, chivaler ... mansum ... Byr, Devon (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Fortified Manor House with a licence to crenellate granted to Mathilda, widow of William Ferrars in 1337 and to John Ferrers in 1340.

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;

Matilda Ferrers
This is not the midlands branch of the Ferrars family, who were nobles, but a biography is not otherwise identified.

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.