The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 
In 1350 Feb 16, William de Excestre (William Exeter) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 24 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Rikhall (Riccall Manor)
Grant, of special grace, to William de Excestre, king's clerk, prebendary of Rikhall in the church of St. Peter, York, and to his successors of a weekly market on Wednesday at their manor of Rikhall, co. York, and of a yearly fair there on the vigil, the day and the morrow of Saint Margaret the Virgin: licence also to the said William to fortify his house (mansum) of Rikhall with a wall of stone and mortar and to crenellate it, and in that state to hold it to him and his heirs without let or hindrance of the king and his heirs or any their ministers.
By K. (CCalR)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King.


The date of this licence, so soon after the Black Death, does suggest this may be a reward for medical service. Exeter was the queen's physician and, presumably also physician to the 10 surviving of 12 children of Edward and Phillippa. Two of these children died in 1348; 11 week old infant William and beloved daughter Joan (who died in France aged 15 years whilst on her way to be married to Peter of Castile - a heavily armed retinue did not save her). However 8 children and the Queen did survive.

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;

Exeter , William (d. 1359)
William Exeter (d. 1359) theologian and physician. Although described as king's clerk his position seems to have been the royal physician (to the queen) from 1330 to, possibly, 1354, but also served in some diplomatic missions.

Biographical source include;

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.