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 1422 Aug 6, Thomas Holden (Sometimes said to be granted to Roger Holden) was granted, by Cardinal Langley, Bishop of Durham, (In year 16 of his pontificate) a Durham licence to crenellate Ludworth' (Ludworth Tower)
Has licence to enclose, fortify, and crenellate his manor of Ludworth'. (Rep. Dep. Keeper)

Tho. &c. Sciatis q'd de gra. n'ra. concessimus & lic. dedimus p' nob' & succ. n'ris quantum in nob. est dil'co armig'o n'ro Tho. Holden q'd ipe man'ium suum de Ludworth in co. Dun. muro de Petra & calce firmare kirnellare batillare et turrillare & man'ium illud sic firmatum kirnellatum batellatum et turrillatum tenere possit sibi et he'ib's suis imp'p'm si'e occ'oe v'l impedimento n'ri vel succ. n'ror Justic. esc. vie. aut al. ballivor. seu min, n'ror v'l succ. n'rorum quor. cunq. In c. &c. Pat. D. &c. 6d. Aug. an. p' n'ri sexto decimo.–Rot. E.Langley in dorso No 50. (Hutchinson Vol. 2 p. 748-9)


In 1422 Bishop Langley granted licence to Thomas Holden to crenellate his manor.

A family called Ludworth owned Ludworth in the 1200s and 1300s and took their name from the place. Ludworth passed later to Thomas Holden who was wary of the Scottish raids that ravaged Durham. (Simpson)

Ludworth, in which the church acquired an interest at an early date was held by a family of the same name from before 1209 to 1349, and afterwards by the Holdens, who alienated it to Roger Thornton, merchant, whose heiress carried it to the family of Lumley. (Mackenzie and Ross)

'licence of bishop Langley, dated the 30th of November, 1428, for an exchange of lands between the convent of Durham and Thomas Holden, by which he was to take lands in Ludworth for lands and rents m Windegates' (Hutchinson p. 15)

It is uncertain as to when Holden actually obtained the manor, although he was clearly increasing his holdings at this time.

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;

No details of Thomas Holden identified, beyond him being called 'armigero' (esquire).

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.