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 1383 May 10, Richardus Waldegrave (Richard Waldegrave) was granted, by Richard II, (In year 7 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Seinte Marie Bures (Smallbridge Hall, Bures St Mary)
Licence for Richard Waldegrave, knight, to crenellate his manor of Smalbrigg in the town of Seinte Marie Bures or a certain plot within the said town. By signet letter. (CPR)

Richardus Waldegrave ... manerium in Villa de Seinte Marie Bures ... Smallbrigg, {Suff.} (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Clarendon Manor. Grant by signet letter.


Smallbridge Hall is an isolated house on the edge of the parish, certainly not a house in a town. It has to be remembered that the Rolls were a copy of business done in court; this business may not have been conducted in a totally calm and ordered way at all times. Presumably village was misheard as villa. In some ways what is surprising is how few errors there are in the Rolls.

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;

Waldegrave, Sir Richard (c.1338–1410)
Waldegrave, Sir Richard (c.1338–1410), courtier and speaker of the House of Commons. About 1363 he secured further lands (including Smallbridge Hall) by marrying Joan, widow of Sir Robert Bures. In the politically turbulent 1380s and 1390s Waldegrave became increasingly closely attached to the court. (Satchell)

He attmepted to resign as speaker in late 1381, possibly because of 'a reluctance to voice the Commons' criticisms of the administration; certainly his analysis of the origins of the rising drew attention to the faults of the royal household' (Satchell). Is the llicence part of the process of establishing good relationships between Richard and the crown - both sides benefitting from such an accord.

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.