The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1381 Feb 10, Johannes de Cobeham (John de Cobham) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 4 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Coulyng (Cooling Castle)
Licence for John de Cobeham to fortify and crenellate the mansion of his manor of Coulyng, co. Kent. By p.s. (CPR)

Johannes de Cobeham ... mansum manerii sui ... Coulyng, Kanc. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Cooling Castle was the seat of the de Cobham family after 1214 but the licence to crenellate was only granted in 1381, partly as a defence for the sea-access to London, commemorated on a copper plate in the east tower, formerly on the gate-house, which reads: 'Knouwyth that beth and schul be/ That I am mad in help of the cuntre/ In knowyng of whyche thyng/ Thys is chartre and wytnessyng.'

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;

John Cobham, third Baron Cobham of Cobham (c.1320-1408)
John Cobham, third Baron Cobham of Cobham (c.1320-1408) Prominent both as a soldier and a politician, he fought in France between 1359 and 1376, being made a banneret in 1370, and was several times employed as an ambassador. A royal councillor at Richard II's accession, in 1386 he was appointed to the council set up to direct government in the king's name.

Hugh Fastolf, father of Sir John Fastolf, and John Organ, citizens of London, are recorded in the Close Roll for 28 March of 1381, as owing John de Cobham, lord Cobham, 800 marks.

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.