The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1376 Dec 4, Willielmus de Kerdeston, miles (William de Kerdiston) was granted, by Edward III, (In year 50 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Claxston (Claxton Castle)
Licence for William, son of William de Kerdeston, knight, to finish the work of crenellating the dwelling house of Claxston, co. Norfolk begun by his father with the king's licence; the father having died before the completion of the work. By p.s. (CPR)

Willielmus de Kerdeston, miles ... mansum ... Claxston, Norff. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Havering manor. Grant by privy seal.


This licence, this time to complete the work started by his his father, was obtained by William's bastard son, also called William. This may not imply caution on the part of William II but rather that he too wanted the status that a licence to crenellate conferred - particularly important given that he was illegitimate. Parker footnotes "This entry states that a licence had been granted to his father, but that the house was only commenced by him."

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;

William de Kerdeston (1330-1391)
William de Kerdeston (1330-1391) his father was William de Kerdeston, Lord Kerdeston (1303-1361), soldier and courtier who had received a licence to crenellate Claxton in 1340. Possibly the French Wars, in which the elder Kerdeston certainly fought, extended the plans for Claxton and the Black Death stopped the start of the work. Probably the younger Kerdeston would also have served in France.

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.