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 1380 March 4, Gilbertus de Culwen, miles (Gilbert Curwen) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 3 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Wirkyngton (Workington Hall)
Licence for Gilbert de Culwen, knight, to crenellate a house which he has built at his manor of Wirkyngton, co. Cumberland, by the march of Scotland. By p.s (CPR)

... quandam domum per ipsum ut dicit apud manerium suum de Wirkyngton in Com. Cumb. juxta Marchiam Scotiae muro de petro et calce edificatam firmare et kernellare (Parker and Turner p. 207)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.

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;

Sir Gilbert Curwen (d. 1403)
The Curwen's were a knightly family with a long history of military service in the north. Gilbert was warden of the west march at this date. Workington had been held by the family from the early C13, so the licence was for a rebuilding or expansion of an existing home which, in this area, was probably fortified already.

Neither were the gentry altogether exempt for in 1403 Sir Gilbert Curwen, his son Sir William and two younger sons all died of the fell disease. (Curwen)

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.