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In 1340 Sept 29, Ricardus de Merton (Richard de Merton) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 14 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Torryton (Torrington Castle, Great Torrington)
Licence for Richard de Merton to crenellate the dwelling-place of his manor of Torryton, co. Devon. By p.s. (CPR)

Ricardus de Merton ... mansum manerii ... Torryton, Devon. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Andover. Grant by privy seal.


Built in the reign of John by William de Toriton and was ordered to be destroyed in 1228 having been built without a Licence. it was rebuilt in 1340 by Richard de Merton, who obtained licences to crenellate in 1328 (or possible 1338 - an application), 1340 (the grant) and 1347 (a repeat).

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;

Richard Merton (1310-1371)
Richard Merton (1310-1371), married Maud d'Argentine. The Great Torrington property seems to come with her as it is mentioned in 1371 as an assignment of dower (CCR 1369-74 p. 339)

What relation Richard was to Walter Merton the Chancellor to Edward I and founder of Merton college?

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.