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 1561 Nov 24, Christopher Heydon, knight, the queen's servant (Christopher Haydon) was granted, by Elizabeth I, (In year 4 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Baconsthorpe (Baconsthorpe Castle)
Licence for the service of Christopher Heydon, knight, the queen's servant, for him, his heirs and assigns to build houses, walls and towers in the manor of Baconsthorpe, co. Norfolk, and to embattle and crenellate the same. Also licence to enclose and impark 200 acres of land, 200 acres of meadow, 500 acres of pastures, 100 acres of wood, 100 acres of marsh and 300 acres of furze and heath in Baconsthorpe, Bodham and Hempstede, co. Norfolk; also grant of free warren in all the demense lands now belonging to Heydon in Baconsthorpe, Bodham and Hempstede, Salthous, Holte alias Holte Markett, Kellyng, Saxlyngham next Langham and Cley next the sea, co. Norfolk; no one to enter their parks or warrens to hunt without their leave under forfeiture to the crown of 10l.; so long as the lands be not within the bounds of a royal forest. Also grant of a yearly fair in the manor of Holte alias Holte Markett on the feast of St. Catherine the Virgin and the eve and morrow thereof. By Q. (CPR)

Grant by Queen.


Baconsthorpe had been built by earlier Heydon's, who were a knightly Norfolk family and wealthy sheep farmers, noted for being opponents of the Paston family, so this licence much more to do with imparking.

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 Christopher Heydon (c.1516-1579).
Sir Christopher Heydon (c.1516-1579). As far as Gatehouse can ascertain Christopher, who inherited his estates in 1550, was local gentry with no role in national government and quite what his service to the queen was is unclear. Was he, like his more famous grandson, an astrologer?

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.