The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1348 July 10, Abbas et Conventus de Whalleye (Abbot John Lindley) were granted, by Edward III, (In year 22 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Whalleye (Whalley Abbey)
Licence for the abbot and convent of Whalleye to crenellate their church and the close of the abbey. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas et Conventus de Whalleye ... ecclesiam suam et clausum Abbatiae suae ... Whalleye. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Building work began about 1320 and continued well into the C15. The large north-west Gatehouse (not crenellated) dates from before the licence. Expensive litigation restricted the funding available for new building, according to the VCH, shown by the long period of building. This litigation, with the Earl of Lancaster, would have increased Abbot John Lindley's contact with royal officials and possibly influenced a desire by the Abbot and Abbey to be show their 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;

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.