The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1346 May 16, Rogerus de Widerington (Roger Widdrington) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 20 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Westswynborn (Great Swinburne Castle)
Licence for Roger de Widerington to crenellate his dwelling-place of Westswynborn, co. Northumberland, and make a castle of the same. By p.s. (CPR)

Rogerus de Widerington ... mansum ... Westswynborn, Northumbr. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Licensed to be built as a castle.

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;

Roger Widdrington (c. 1306 -c. 1372)
Roger Widdrington (c. 1306 -c. 1372). Possible High Sheriff of Northumberland in 1363. 2nd son of Sir John Widdrington. Established and locally important gentry family. The manor had come to the Widdrington's though Roger's mother Christiana de Swinburne. The date of Christiana's death not identified but if she held the manor as dower for some years after her husbands death (John de Widdrington d. 1302) then the licence may represent a confirmation of the holding coming fully into Roger's hands after her death. The elder brother Gerard de Widdrington obtain a licence for Widdrington Castle in 1341. He died, without issue, in 1362.

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.