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In 1388 May 17, Prior et Conventus de Bridlyngton were granted, by Richard II, (In year 11 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Bridlyngton (Bridlington Priory)
Licence, out of regard for John de Thweng, late prior of Bridlyngton co. York, deceased, for the present prior and convent thereof to crenellate the priory. By K. (CPR)

Prior et Conventus de Bridlyngton (ob reverentiam Johannis de Thweng nuper Prior de Bridlyngton) ... prioratum illum (muris et domibus) ... Bridlyngton, Ebor. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King, out of regard for John de Thweng.


John de Thweng had died in 1379 and in 1386 a commission was set up to recognise the miracles associated with him and he was canonized in 1401. New building of the highest status was clearly intended to commemorate a beloved figure but also to produce a pilgrimage centre with the associated income. John, of a knightly family, was the last canonised English man before the reformation and was a popular saint of English nobility in the C15. Henry V is said to have considered that St John of Bridlington and St John of Beverley had interceded on his behalf with regards to Agincourt. Prior at time of licence probably William de Newbould. The Priory had quite strong precinct defences from the C12, The Bayle, the sizeable gatehouse, dates originally from the C12, although the large chamber over the gatehouse was added circa the date of the licence most probably as a court room. Any evidence for actually crenellations on this building or the priory church have been lost to later alterations.

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;

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.