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In 1441 Feb 5, Roger Fenys (Roger Fiennes) was granted, by Henry VI, (In year 19 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Hurst Monceux (Herstmonceux Castle)
Grant, of special grace, to Roger Fenys, knight, that he may enclose, crenellate, and furnish with towers and battlements his manor of Hurst Monceux, co. Sussex, and so hold it to him and his heirs, notwithstanding any statue, act or ordinance to the contrary; and that he may enclose 600 acres of his land adjoining his park there with a paling and dike and hold the park so enlarged to him and his heirs. (CChR)

The King to Archbishops, Bishops, &c.,to whom, &c., greeting–Know that of our special grace we have grunted and given license on behalf of ourselves and our heirs, as much as in us lies, to our beloved aud faithful Knight, Roger Fenys, that he may with walls and lime, enclose, krenellate, entower and embattle (turrellare et batellare), his manor of Hurst Mounceux, in the County of Sussex, and that he may hold the aforesaid manor so enclosed, krenellated, entowered, and embattled, for himself and his heirs for ever, without impeachment (impetitione) from ourselves, or our heirs, or our other officers or heirs whosoever. Given by our hand, at Westminister, on the 5th day of February,"— Chart. 1 to 20 Hen. VI. 19, No. 21). (Blaauw)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal and of the said date etc. {by authority of parliament}.


Sibling rivalry may be the motivation both for the magnificent martial house and the licence, although Roger was at the peak of a very successful political career, extremely wealthy and quite financially capable of building a magnificent new house in fine new brick and old martial style.

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 Roger Fiennes (1384 -1449)
Sir Roger Fiennes (1384 -1449) Sheriff of Sussex and Surrey, treasurer of the Household of Henry VI, fought at Agincourt. His younger brother James Fiennes had built Knole (Parts of this building survive behind the splendid of Archbishop Thomas Bourchier) with spoils from his service in France and was making his way up the government eventually to become Treasurer of England and to be ennobled as Baron Saye and Sele in 1447.

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.