A comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales and the Islands.
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The Gatehouse Newsletter

Gatehouse is an active and ongoing project. New sites are added to the database from time to time and new features are added to Gatehouse with some regularity.

From 2011 Gatehouse has set up a mailing list to inform people of changes and developments to the website and databases. If you would like to kept upto date with these changes do please feel free to subscribe to the Gatehouse Newsletter. To subscribe either contact Gatehouse or fill in the form boxes. Gatehouse will not share your email address with anyone.

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27 July 2017 - Newsletter 40 1 June 2017 - Newsletter 39 18 April 2017 - Newsletter 38
11 March 2017 - Newsletter 37 6 February 2017 - Newsletter 36 17 October 2016 - Newsletter 35
31 August 2016 - Newsletter 34 12 July 2016 - Newsletter 33 24 June 2016 - Newsletter 32
15 May 2016 - Newsletter 31 26 April 2016 - Newsletter 30 5 March 2016 - Newsletter 29
4 February 2016 - Newsletter 28 1 January 2016 - Newsletter 27 15 December 2015 - Newsletter 26
22 November 2015 - Newsletter 25 6 November 2015 - Newsletter 24 7 October 2015 - Newsletter 23
18 August 2015 - Newsletter 22 18 July 2015 - Newsletter 21 3 May 2015 - Newsletter 20
30 March 2015 - Newsletter 19 11 February 2015 - Newsletter 18 31 December 2014 - Newsletter 17
28 November 2014 - Newsletter 16 21 September 2014 - Newsletter 15 27 July 2014 - Newsletter 14
28 May 2014 - Newsletter 13 29 March 2014 - Newsletter 12 15 January 2014 - Newsletter 11
17 December 2013 - Newsletter 10 21 November 2013 - Newsletter 9 28 September 2013 - Newsletter 8
9 September 2013 - Newsletter 7 23 August 2013 - Newsletter 6 28 June 2013 - Newsletter 5
17 June 2013 - Newsletter 4 1 May 2013 - Newsletter 3 9 March 2013 - Newsletter 2
22 February 2013

In future, to save myself some duplication, the latest news of developments in Gatehouse will be published as a pdf file.

Newsletter 1

11 December 2012

A couple of new books, of similar format, have been published in the last few months. Buckton Castle and the castles of the North West England and The Castles of Bedfordshire. Both, by teams of authors, have introductory chapters on castles (always the weakest part of such books), detailed summaries of recent archaeological work of one castle - Buckton and Bedford castles respectively - of real value and import and a gazetteer of castles in the local area of some interest. In The Castles of Bedfordshire, James Petre identifies a number of 'reject site' and a 'ringwork' not previously in Gatehouse - although this is also dubious.

An old book, Derek Renn's Norman Castles of Britain, was looked at some years ago in the early days of the Gatehouse website. It has now been much more carefully examined with a broader understanding of medieval fortifications. Although the 'castellology' content is somewhat dated the historical sources cited (something archaeologists are often weak at) generally remain valid and these references (usually to earliest mention) have been added to the Gatehouse records. Fortunately many of the transcription made by C19 scholars of the primary sources are now available online and where this is so links have been added.

A few sites mentioned by Renn had been missed in the earlier reading and these have now been added. Also missed was a licence to 'fortify his house of Stokes' (firmandi domum suam de Stokes) granted to Geoffrey fitz Peter in 1202. Renn suggested Stokesay castle in Shropshire as a possibly location for this house. Tenurially this does not seem possibly and more likely would be a house at Stoke Manderville, Buckinghamshire, where Geoffrey, a career civil servant of relatively humble origins but who was regent at times in John's reign, gained the sub tenancy of one of the two manor's there when he married the Manderville heiress. Stoke Manderville is a DMV (The modern village lies north of the original site) but the surviving earthworks are not clear. Presumably the original Manderville manor house was moated and Geoffrey may have intended greater work but it does not seem that a substantial house was constructed. This was a Liberate Roll entry, equivalent to Close Roll entry in practice, so arguably not a licence to crenellate but clearly of a similar interest. A record has been added to the List of Licences to Crenellate.

The records for Devon have been checked, updated and brought up to standard. The Devon and Dartmoor HER has been part of Heritage Gateway for a while but revised and improved entries from the HER have been added to HG in the last couple of months so the revision of these record has been particularly timely and they are generally much improved.

New sites

From Petre

From Renn

Andrew Herrett kindly let me know of a reputed motte near Strelley, Nottinghamshire. This is a quarry mound bit is still though to be a motte by some locals.

27 September 2012

A short news report for what seems to have been quite a bit of work.

The records for Cumberland have been brought up to standard, with fuller and more clearly attributed descriptions and with mapping references checked and improved. However, as I went through these records, it became clear it was a long time since I looked at Denis Perriam  and John Robinson The Medieval Fortified Buildings of Cumbria, which is a major source, and I will need to reexamine that text and review the records further sometime in the future.

Much time has been spent on adding bibliographical references. Notable are references in early Castle Studies Group Newsletters (available online in the Castle Studies Group Website) and Paul Davis's The Forgotten Castles of Wales (Logaston Press, 2011), although numerous other references have also been added, particularly for Cumberland. The general bibliographies of the site have been extended by some 10% and slightly redesigned to make the bibliographic references a little more consistent over the site. The page giving guidance on finding copies of referenced texts has been expanded to more clearly acknowledge the importance of John Kenyon's work. A slight design change to the individual page description of the general bibliography adds a link to A small section on palaeographic sources has been added to the page on Primary Sources although I continue to highly recommend Chris Philips's Some notes on medieval English Genealogy website for finding online copies of primary source calendars etc. and I don't intend to duplicate his work.

One reason for a need to review Perriam and Robinson is the confusion is some records between bastles and 'bastle derivates'. The term 'bastle derivative' is used by Peter Ryder to mean thin walled, non defensive, houses of C17 and later date with residential rooms on the first floor over livestock or storage space and which he considers to be derived from the bastle building tradition. However, some authors seem also to use the term to mean later houses built on the site of and incorporation parts of (or at least foundations of) actual bastles. The situation is messy and Gatehouse records of bastles need further work to properly identify bastles, bastle derivatives and even things like bastle derivatives built on the foundations of bastles! I hope, at some point, to use the Gatehouse database to get a survey of such sites and show some light on this issue.

The work on Cumberland has resulted in new records - although further changes are likely to occur.

  • Annat Walls Farmhouse. A 'bastle derivative' was previously included with the Annat Walls Barn bastle but is now given it own record as a dubious bastle.
  • High Silly Hall, site of a potential bastle.
  • Scarrow Hill, an undoubted but early 'bastle derivative' (securely dated to 1605 by dendrochronology so rather earlier than many bastles) is added as a 'dubious' bastle but really as a key example of a bastle derivative.
    • and in Northumberland
  • Alton Side Bastle East. Previous included with its, probably older twin Alton Side West

  • 22 July 2012
    The Historic Environment Records for Bedfordshire, Berkshire Archaeology, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire and Worcester City have come online via Heritage Gateway. Links to these online record have been added and the Gatehouse recorded for the historic counties of BedfordshireBerkshireOxfordshire and Worcestershire have all been reviewed and brought up to standard.
    John Kenyon's annual Bibliography for the Castle Studies Group has been published and the relevant references for this I'd missed have been added to site bibliographies along with others gained from the HER records and elsewhere. Numerous links to online scans and transcriptions of sources have been added, notably the records for the newsletter for CBA group 9 (South Midlands Archaeology) which only rarely contains substantive articles but has many minor reports (a certain Mike Aston contributes extensively). An article by J. Bond written in 2001 'Earthen Castles, Outer Enclosures and the Earthworks at Ascott d'Oilly Castle, Oxfordshire' Oxoniensia Vol. 46 p. 67-8 Had an appendix: Earthwork castles with attached village enclosures which produced some potential sites (although many are dubious to my mind) (online copy)
    I was most privileged to go to an excavation at King John's Palace in Clipstone, Nottinghamshire, where James Wright and Andy Gaunt are working to extended the scheduling area. James Wright pointed out to the page on Wikipedia which he authored (as of July 2012). I've not added much to the Gatehouse page except a reasonably full set of primary source and the link to this rather outstanding page. I hope James will find some way to publish this page in a format where it is safe from malicious editing, although he informs me they will be producing an extensive write up of the site in the near future.
    The following records have been added;

    17 June 2012
    Nearly two months since the last newsletter. I've attended a couple of conferences, that of the Castle Studies Group in Durham and the Norman Castle Connections conference in Norwich.

    I have managed to do some work on Gatehouse.
    • The records for Derbyshire and Staffordshire have been brought up to standard.
    • William Cash, the owner of Upton Cressett Hall,  Shropshire pointed out to me the old record, based on a very old listed building report failed to recognise the major developments in preserving and restoring this moated Hall. The record has been updated.
    • Watching Michael Wood's Britannia TV programme on the 'Norman York' (If you're quick you may catch this on BBC iPlayer) I became aware that last year Carenza Lewis, of Cambridge University, lead an excavation of Mount Bures, Essex. A short summary report is online but both Wood's TV programme and Lewis's interpretation of her excellent archaeology are marred but some very dated historicism. The Norman conquest was a much more complex and diverse experience than Wood states and castles were much more diverse in function and date than Lewis seems to assume. Mount Bures, an isolated motte, held by a knightly tenant, despite its impressive size, may have no other function than to symbolically express that military status.
    • What I hope is a basically invisible change is the download page, although if anyone has a link to this please do note the change in url.
    • I've added two new pages, one giving some newsfeed links and another giving more detail and links to find 'other' bibliographic sources (Theses, grey literature, TV programmes). Both of these pages are pretty crude and in early stages of development and any additional links and suggestions to improve these would be much appreciated.

    • Catherine Bancroft informed me of Nettle Hall, Cumbria described as a possible bastle. There is, at the moment, an increase in the interest in these buildings and a tendency is growing to call any 17th century rectangular secular stone building in the north of England a 'bastle derivative'.
    • At the Norwich Conference Philip Dixon mentioned, in a comment on a talk, St Mary's Guildhall, Lincoln built as briefly used royal residence by Henry II in 1157.

    20 April 2012

    The records for Warwickshire have been brought up to standard, with extended descriptions, better latitude/longitude references and some extensions to bibliographies.

    A couple of very slight design changes will hopefully improve usability.

    The Journals page has been updated. The Transactions of the London and Middlesex Archaeological Society join the increasing number of journals with back issues fully available to freely download. Please do let me know if I'm missing anything of interest.

    I've hopefully resolved a problem with broken links to scanned copies of texts available from Internet Archive, who had slightly changed their urls for some reason.

    Steve Hobbs was kind enough to let me know of his historic research at Hartland in North Devon. His website has a vast amount on Hartland, and is a fine example of what a local historian can do. The medieval landscape survey asks the question "So where is the castle?" Looking at this made it clear to me it is unlikely that the domum unam in terra sua de Hertiland' (one house in the land of Hartland) for which Alan "de H'tiland'" was granted licence to crenellate in 1201 (one of the first documented licences) was at or near Blegberry Farm as had been assumed by a previous local historian R.P. Chope. A much more likely location for the house was 'on the perimeter of the present settlement of Hartland' next to a deer park. See the record for Hartland Castle.

    Mr Hobbs's work has convinced me Alan of Hartland was a member of the Dinham family (I'd previously dismissed this on the bases of the inaccurate genealogy available), who had a complex family structure at this time. This new (to me) information turns the 1201 licence from one which is seemingly a straightforward example of royal consent for a fortified building specifically built because of the pirate William de Marisco into a document with a hidden agenda about an ownership dispute between difference branches of the Dinham family and some complex relationship between this family of growing importance and the local magnate William Briwer (granted some licences himself the previous year). See the record for the 1201 licence.

    Although the farm at Blegberry can be dismissed as the location for Hartland Castle it was a house with C17 gunloops These loops may actually be from 1606 and represent a defence against pirates and, if so, this makes this a defensible building of the same date as northern bastles, although of a somewhat different form and at the higher end of the social scale for such defensible buildings. A new record for Blegberry has been created.

    British Television programme TimeTeam has visited several sites listed in Gatehouse this season. These programmes have shown the best and worst of this programme. A dig at Kenfig, Glamorgan, confirmed the town defences were a timber pallisade. The dig at Croft Castle, near Crewkerne, Somerset was very important and found the foundations of a late C12 great tower (probably unfinished) previously unknown. However, the dig at King John's Palace, Clipstone, Nottingham, whilst having some limited content of interest, had some gross distortions (including stating they had got the site scheduled - it has been scheduled for many years although the scheduling area may have been increased) and completely failed to acknowledge the recent work by Andy Gaunt and James Wright (who's work was much more likely to be the bases for any change in scheduling than anything done by TimeTeam). The Gatehouse records for these sites have been updated (majorly so for Croft Castle) to reflect the reported findings, although we need to await the Wessex Archaeology reports for the real details of the TimeTeam evaluation digs.

    There has been much discussion as to the future TimeTeam, much focused on personalities, (see the last couple of issues of British Archaeology) although I'm much more interest in the archaeology than the gender of the presenter. TimeTeam is at its best when it allows the site and excavations to tell the story. It is appalling when the producers arrive with a pre-conceived story and try to fit the excavations into that story, particularly the 'story' of TimeTeam "rescuing" a "neglected" site, when this is done in a way which dismisses the work of others to an extent amounting to plagiarism. Gatehouse again thanks James Wright who has been most generous in sharing his knowledge over the last few years and who, along with Andy Gaunt, deserved very much better treatment from TimeTeam.

    19 March 2012

    In preparation for this years conference of the Castle Studies Group in Durham the records for the old county of Durham, including the North Bishoprick (Norhamshire, Islandshire and Bedlingtonshire), have been brought up to standard. The records have been reviewed, description improved, extended and more clearly attributed. Bibliographies have been extended and many more links to online scans copies of texts added and weblinks have been checked with some new additions and corrections. The extended bibliography effects many Northumberland records but full revision of these records is, at the moment, confined to Tyne and Wear. Neil Guy has, once again, provided some links and references particularly for Newcastle Castle.

    The annual Heritage at Risk Register was published by English Heritage in October 2011 but slipped my mind until now. 288 Gatehouse listed sites are on the register. This is up from 279 in 2010 although this reflects changes to Gatehouse records as much as additions to (and some deletions from) from the register. Links to the online copy of the Register have been added in the 'other sources' part of site bibliographies.

    A national programme of surveys of historic towns (sometimes called the extensive urban survey) has been underway since 1992 with the support of English Heritage. This is far from complete but many of the surveys have been done and published online, either by county councils or through ADS, and are often most useful. Gatehouse had given links to some of these before now but a more systemtic attempt to give references and links has now been done.

    A few websites have been added to the links page under a subheading of 'General Archaeology Resources', these are mainly duplicates of links in other sections but new is Past Horizons adventures in archaeology a commerical outlet for archaeology equipment containing a good number of articles, news and opinion reports and videos of quality and interest.

    • Houghall, near Durham, was described as 'once a strong place with fortifications' in 1905. Some scant traces of a once broad moat survive in a college of Durham University. The evidence for fortifications seems slight and this suggested fortified house in the early and not particularly impressive earthworks chapter of the VCH does not seem to have been taken up by later writers but this was a house of the wealthy Prior of Durham, in a county where martial architecture had particular kudos.
    • Cornhill Tower. Reading the PastScape record for Cornhill Castle made me realise there was some contention as to the location of a tower recorded at Cornhill in several 16th century surveys. General, it seems, this is assumed to be the same site as Cornhill Castle a castle recorded as taken and demolished by the Scots in 1385 and now represented by damaged earthworks. However, according to the PastScape records John Dodds, writing in 1999, 'says that the tower and barmkin were built in 1382 (sic) half a mile to the South-East in Cornhill village to guard a new ford across the river'. In his 1825 View of the County of Northumberland Mackenzie writes of Cornhill 'The street, from the church, forms a wide avenue, at the foot of which stands the ancient seat of the Collingwood family. It is an old house, built in form of a cross'. This give a distinct suggestion that the Collingwoods built a small tower house in a form mirroring the then new keep at Warkworth castle. Was this the work of John Lewyn or one of his students/associates?

    11 February 2012

    The main news is that, because of decisions beyond my control, Gatehouse is having to change internet server and, consequently, its url.

    The new url for Gatehouse is

    The old site will remain online until June but please change your bookmarks and links as soon as possible. If you have links to individual pages of the Gatehouse website the ends of the urls will remain the same (i.e. the url for the page for Dover Castle changes from to With well over 6000 pages it's not possible for me to check every page of Gatehouse on the new website so if you do come across errors, or display problems, on the new site I will be most grateful if you can let me know of these.

    Neil Guy  has pointed out to me some developments on John Goodall's website The English Castle including online copies of articles John has written for Country Life. Links to these have been added. Neil also suggested I look at the antiquarian writings of Celia Fiennes and I was able to find an online transcription of her Through England on a Side Saddle in the Time of William and Mary at the Vision of Britain site. In reality she seems to have more interest in the cost of food in local markets than in architecture but for some sites, particular Wolseley Hall in Staffordshire (licensed in 1469), she does give valuable insight and evidence. Also at Neil's suggestion I've added links to some YouTube videos for some sites, although the number of online videos that meaningfully add anything is pretty limited and I didn't spend too many days looking at jerky family visits. Please do let me know of any other such resource that adds value to Gatehouse as an academic resource.

    A resource that certainly has much academic value, although one nearly as difficult to use and navigate is the Greater London HER. A very simply version of this was available from the Archaeological Data Service but a fuller version, with bibliographical references and better site descriptions is now part of Heritage Gateway. The Greater London HER is pretty massive, complex and not always very well indexed so searching for records within it can be tedious and sometimes requires considerable imagination. The Oxford Urban Database has also been added to Heritage Gateway. Links to the online records to these have been added to the Gatehouse records.

    The Gatehouse records for MiddlesexEssex and the City of London were reviewed some months ago but the examination of the Greater London HER made it seem worthwhile to review and bring up to standard the Gatehouse records for Surrey and Kent. All the records for these two historic counties have been reviewed, description improved, extended and more clearly attributed. Bibliographies have been extended and many more links to online scans copies or transcriptions of texts added and weblinks have been checked with some new additions and corrections.

    Checking out Abinger Castle lead to the discovery that the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland hold the Brian Hope-Taylor archives. I've been aware of the Commissions excellent Canmore site for some years but hadn't expected to find an entry for Abinger Castle, Surrey in a Scottish archaeological database but there is one which indexes Hope-Taylor's excavation notes and site photographs with a number of these digitised and available to view. Further checking found Hope-Taylor's work at Old WindsorPreston HaweWakefield Low Hill and Bamburgh is also available from Canmore.

    An even earlier archaeologist who's archives are being made even more accessible is Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers in the England: The Other Within site

    Looking for a tiny bit more on the obscure Goseford Castle lead to the discovery that Derek Renn wrote a short piece in 1968 entitled 'The castle at Goseford' in the Bulletin of the Surrey Archaeological Society (Vol. 41 p. 3). The Surrey Archaeological Society has a fine website and has made their journal of record Surrey Archaeological Collections available via ADS. However the Bulletin is only available for recent years and is not the sort of thing I'm likely to find in any library available to me. If anyway can let me know what Derek wrote in 1968 I'd be most grateful.

    Regarding journals I've checked the Gatehouse Journals page updating links and added a couple more. As always if anyone has suggestion for other this page please do let me know.

    • Going through the Greater London HER brought about a reference to several late C16 (Elizabethan) artillery works on the Thames with a reference to a map Thamesis Descriptio Anno 1588 (Available to view from the British Library). I'm not entirely sure if this represented actual works or was a proposal plan but records are added for Blackwell Point, Middlesex and, ErithLee Ness, Greenhithe and Northfleet in Kent.
    • A doubtful reference to an earlier Inn of the Bishop of Ely in the New Temple is added.
    • Reading John Goodall's Country Life article lead to me realising I didn't have a record for the rather fabulous Layer Marney Tower in Essex.
    • Polton Manor Kent, surviving only as a shallow depression was described by Hasted as 'being castellated and surrounded with a moat'
    • Trying to resolve an identity for the a 'Barnard Castle, Kent' listed by James Moore lead to several possiblities. A manor in Milstead was in the possession of a John Barnard in the C16 who may have done some building work although there is no evidence to suggest the site ever had a 'castle' name. More probably is that the Barnard Castle is a mistranscribing or typographical for Bayford Castle. In modern print these may seem clearly different but in gothic print or manuscript, read by candlelight, such a transcription error is entirely possible. The identity of Bayford Castle is, itself, not entirely clear and is further obscured by an association with a danish war camp recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Some earthworks of a moated site survive at Bayford Court, previously recorded in Gatehouse but a lost earthwork close by sometimes called Bayford Castle is added as a doubtful site.
    • Trying to clarify the situation with the various Henrician artillery forts at Dover lead to looking at a whole series of C16 plans for Dover available to view at the British Library website. It then became clear that some artillery forts were at least planned for the ends of the Dover Port piers. Indeed the Kent HER records that some remains are said to have survived and to have been found in archaeological circumstances (but references are pretty sketchy). It seems the vulnerable position does mean these forts were rapidly lost to the action of the sea.
    • A once scheduled moated site Wilmington Manor, Boughton Aluph which was bulldozed in 1974/5 and subject to a 'rescue' excavation was described by Brian Philp as 'fortified' although more generally this had been described as a 'homestead' moat.
    • Eastry Court, on the site of a palace of the Archbishop of Canterbury was, unfortunately, missed before now.
    • Regarding Court at Street near Lympne Hasted writes "In the 10th year of king Edward II. John de Hadloe had licence to fortify and embattle his house here, among others belonging to him." Hasted is generally a careful and reliable historian who does seem to have had direct access to various primary sources so such a reference does require proper investigation. However, this entry is problematic. Nothing seems to be in the various calendars which is hardly surprising since what is calendared is the post-mortem inquisition for John Haudlo who died in the 9th year of Edward II. I suspect a dating error (possibly 10th year of Edward I) rather than Hasted misreading the post-mortem inquisition warrant (this survives and is damaged and rather dirty but not to such an extent as to make misinterpretation likely). I will continue with researching this but suggestions are welcome.
    6 December 2011

    Over the last few weeks I've been working on completing the updates of the records for Yorkshire, specifically the West Riding. This has included a visit to the West Yorkshire Archaeological Advisory Service, who hold the Historic Environment Records for West Yorkshire. I have to thank Jason Dodds for his help with the HER.

    This has resulted in much improved records for most sites and the addition of;
    Ghyll Grange, a possible site of a peel tower.
    Sitlington Castle Gate placename. A placename with no other evidence of being a castle site (only interesting in showing how modern sensibilities have changed this placename).
    Whitley Castelgate placename is another probably irrelevant placename.
    The licence to crenellate for Wodhall in Metheley, granted in 1410, has been attributed to a couple of sites possibly on the bases of misconceptions as to what licences were. However, there was a modest manor and manor house called Woodhall in Methley which has not been previously been suggested as the site for this licence despite have the right tenurial history. The house in Methley survived until the early 1960s but seems to have had no discernible defensive features. A new record makes this clearer and details the lost house.
    Crosland Hall may sit on the site of the C14 Hall of Sir Robert Beaumont which was said to have been moated and to have a drawbridge.
    My record for Temple Newsam was somewhat confused and has no been split into two one to cover the Templar preceptory and another for the C16 house both of which may have had some fortifications.
    Looking at the Pilkington family history lead to Stand Old Hall near Bury in Lancashire, another house demolished in the 1960's. This has some comment on being defensible but doesn't actually seem to have been.

    I've changed the OS getamap button to link to the new version of the site which has many additional features (some only available to subscribers) and larger screen display but which does take longer to load and which needs you to click on the 'Leisure' button to get to the actual OS map.

    20 October 2011

    A small design change has been made to the individual sites page which I've made a little more tidy and I've now embedded a thumbnail air photo into the page. This is mainly done to makes these pages a little more visually interesting and for real study of air photos the button links to Bing and Google remain given access to their fully features websites. However this thumbnail is included in the print page view. I tend to find myself printing out a page before a site visit and the thumbnail will be a useful visual aide memoir for the more careful air photo examination I usually do.

    Unfortunately the constant upgrading of software leads to remarkable quick obsolesce. This has resulted in me no longer being able to offer the Gatehouse databases for download in Excel format. FilemakerPro and tab delimited ascii versions contain to be available from the download page.

    A new website that came to my notice is Open Domesday (or Domesdaymap) which uses the Domesday data created by Professor John Palmer of the University of Hull. This is a project  'working to make a copyright-free, full-text Latin and English version of Domesday Book available to the public.' The site is a work in progress but does contain scans of the Phillimore facsimile of Great Domesday and links have been provided in Gatehouse, under the primary sources section of the bibliography, to the relevant pages for (some of?) those castles mentioned in Domesday such as Peveril Castle.

    Chris Bond very helpfully corrected my record for Cayl Castle, Cornwall, a site mention by John Leland. I hadn't identified a site for this myself and speculated it might be a reference to Crane Godrevy. In fact this can be identified as Kayle Castle, an scheduled Iron Age round. I've rejected this as a medieval fortification although it may have been a medieval sub-manorial centre. Chris's place name research on this site can be seen at

    Catherine Bancroft, who has an interest in medieval houses of the northern marches, was kind enough to send me a copy of the SMR report for Bancroft House which allowed that record to be much improved and for the house to be recorded as a certain bastle. Catherine's web site  is well worth a visit as a fine example of quality of historical and building research although of a post medieval domestic house.

    Dr John Jenkins, who's doctoral thesis was on Torre Abbey in Devon, has, most kindly, sent me the details of a licence to crenellate for that Abbey granted in 1348. For some reason this is not enrolled but survives in the cartulary of the Abbey. John feels the Abbey gatehouse was defensive so a Gatehouse record has been created and the LC has been added to the licences list. John's thesis is available for download via ORA (the Oxford University Research Archive) and those interested in the broader issue of monastic defences may want to look out for article John is currently writing on 'on the defensive functions of monasteries in England in the Hundred Years War' to be published in Southern History next year.

    The 150 records for the historic North Riding of Yorkshire had all been reviewed, with fuller and more clearly attributed descriptions,  more accurate locations and better bibliographies with an increased number of links to scanned copies of books and journals. During this review the entry for a Bolton Pele in Wycliffe within Thorpe that occurs in PastScape was incorrect. This specious record occurred because a map reference given in David King's Castellarium Anglicanum had been mistranscribed. King's reference was to a 'pile' at Bolton in Northumberland (see Bolton Hospital). PastScape informs me they will be removing their record and the Gatehouse record has been deleted.

    15 August 2011

    The records for Herefordshire have been brought up to standard with manually checked lat/long map references and fuller, better attributed, site descriptions. Nothing new has been added after the additions made in June although a number of site confidence labels have been changed to better reflect the full site descriptions.

    A couple of personal visits to Humber Archaeology to view the East Riding of Yorkshire and Kingston upon Hull SMR proved most interesting. My thanks go to Victoria Brown and David Evans for their help. These visits have resulted in much improved bibliographies and some improved site identification. Gatehouse records have been brought up to standard for Yorkshire (East Riding).

    Two sites have been added as a result of examining the SMR. Giants Hill in Swine was called a motte by a field investigator despite it being a ditchless mound. It has been excavated but remains somewhat mysterious but seems most probably to be a medieval landscape mound associated with hunting. Rejected as a motte in Gatehouse.

    More intriguing is supposedly artificially scarped mound in Bridlington. This was suggested as a moot hill in 1884 and as a possible castle site in a letter to a local free newspaper in 1986. Neither source being perhaps the most scholarly source. However the location, now called Bridlington Quay was called Castleburn in the 13th century and continued to have that name until the early 16th century. So this is a site with a castle placename and an earthwork that some people have seen as artificial (The site is now probably to built over to really be sure). Tenurially the site seems to have been granted to Bridlington Priory by King Stephen in 1135 but doesn’t seems to have been royal demense. Added as a questionable site.

    Among the Humber Archaeology records I came across a 1980 paper by Edmund King 'The parish of Warter and the castle of Galchlin' (Yorkshire Archaeological Journal Vol. 52 p. 55-8) with an interesting discussion on the castle of Galchlin (aka Gaultney, Galclint) mentioned by John of Hexham as existing c. 1140. An entry has been added to Gatehouse with a summary of Dr King’s paper and the several suggested sites including a new record for Dr King’s suggestion of Gildersdale.

    25 June 2011

    My apology for the delay in this issue of the newsletter. I’m afraid finding a natural break in the work was rather difficult and this means a rather long newsletter this time.

    • I’ve done a further redesign of the site mainly in moving the navigation menu from a fixed position on the top of the page to a floating menu on the left hand side. Hopefully this will make navigation easier, particularly when going through numerous pages. The look is designed to work in modern browsers supporting CSS3 but does vary slightly across browsers, perhaps looking best in Google Chrome, but should work in all browsers. The redesign has also included a check and edit of many pages on the site including updating the statistics pages. Added to the map buttons is a site called ‘Where’s the path’ which has the nice feature of side by side air photos and OS maps.
    • Four fairly small Historic Environment Records have gone online as part of English Heritages Heritage Gateway. These are the HERs for Wolverhampton and Walsall, Coventry, West Berkshire and South Yorkshire. All have been checked and links added to the relevant sites.
    • An attempt to get the whole historic Staffordshire listing up to the best standard has been thwarted by the fact that the Heritage Gateway urls for the Staffordshire HER have changed in a rather inconsiderate way. I’m awaiting Heritage Gateways response to this problem (which originates at Stafford not Swindon). However, during the initial work I did come across a rather excellent web site called Staffordshire Past-track with has numerous early photos and some drawings of Staffordshire castles and houses. Links have been added.
    • Bibliographical page references for individual sites have been added from;
    • From these sources, and from the online HERs above, numerous other references have been derived and added. Also a few other similar references such as links to online copies of Northumberland Urban Survey.
    • The excellent resource Welsh Journal online has made available many more journals and I’ve added links to the online copies the relevant articles from the Flintshire Historical Society Journal and Montgomeryshire Collections and will be adding further links shortly. However, I’ve not had the time to do a systematic search of these journals so these are links only to previously cited references. It should be noted that coming soon will be Archaeologia Cambrensis.
    • Links to web site have been somewhat changed to reduce the amount of raw urls and give web site names with hypertext links. This may be most notable for the sites in the care of English Heritage where I’ve also added a link to the Portico pages for sites where available.

    New site records added

    John Goodall’s extension of the definition of the castle may cause disquiet for some and I’ve maintained my cut off date of 1600 rather than John’s 1650 so his Jacobean ‘castles’ won’t appear in Gatehouse unless they are on the site of an earlier potential fortified site. However, I have added the Elizabethan ‘castle like’ houses. Generally I’ve classified these as ‘possible’ fortified manor houses although such a classification is problematic. However I do agree with John in seeing 'fortification' as an architectural style rather than 'military' functional aspect of 'castles'. Anyway please do download the Gatehouse databases and edit and alter these to suit your own definitions and needs.
    Jon Shoesmith’s revised edition of Castle and Moated sites of Herefordshire has also produced a number of new records on Gatehouse. Most of these are dubious place name evidence or amorphous earthworks some of which I reject outright and others grade as ‘questionable’ however three sites are worth considering as potential sites of fortified houses of manorial status. The survey of the online HERs mentioned above produced four dubious site.

    Berry Ring, Billington, Staffordshire - Reject
    Knaves Castle, Staffordshire - Questionable
    Wolverhampton town defences, Staffordshire - R
    Giffords Hall, Suffolk - Possible
    Hengrave Hall, Suffolk P
    Torksey Castle, Lincolnshire P
    Deanery Tower, Hadleigh, Suffolk P
    Laughton Place, Sussex P
    East Barsham Manor, Norfolk P
    Coughton Court, Warwickshire P
    Sherborne New Castle, Dorset P
    Chatsworth House, Derbyshire P
    Rycote House, Oxfordshire P
    Standon Lordship, Hertfordshire P
    Burghley House, Northamptonshire (Soke of Peterborough) P
    Stiffkey Old Hall, Norfolk P
    Howley Hall, Yorkshire West Riding P
    Thorpe Hall, Thorpe Salvin, Yorkshire West Riding P
    Brereton Hall, Cheshire P
    Tixall, The Gatehouse, Staffordshire P
    Beckingham Hall, Essex P
    Hardwick New Hall, Derbyshire P
    Buxton Tower, Derbyshire P
    Barlborough Old Hall, Derbyshire P
    Longford Castle, Wiltshire P
    Newark Park, Ozleworth, Gloucestershire P
    Chatsworth Hunting Tower, Derbyshire P
    Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire P
    Barlborough Hall, Derbyshire P
    Sheffield Castle Dykes, Yorkshire West Riding Q
    Buckcastle, Bridstow, Herefordshire Q
    Plastre Tump, Herefordshire Q
    Brockhampton enclosure(s), Herefordshire Q
    Bollingham mound, Herefordshire Q
    Woodsheaves 'mound', Herefordshire Q
    Eastnor Castle Ditch, Herefordshire P
    Holme Lacy earthworks, Herefordshire Q
    Kenchester Court Farm, Herefordshire Q
    Crabs Castle, Kentchurch, Herefordshire Q
    Kingstone Castle Meadow, Herefordshire Q
    Madley Castle Field place names, Herefordshire R
    Michaelchurch Escley Castel Farm, Herefordshire Q
    Much Dewchurch, Charity Castle place name, Herefordshire R
    Much Dewchurch, Condie Castle place name, Herefordshire R
    Much Dewchurch, The Castle place name, Herefordshire R
    Orcop Little Hill, Herefordshire Q
    St Margarets Castle Farm place name, Herefordshire R
    St Margarets Castle(h)ibo Farm place name, Herefordshire Q
    Caer Caradoc, Herefordshire P
    Birtley possible castle site, Herefordshire P
    Mound west of Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire Q
    Sutton Walls Herefordshire R


    Pen y foel - an Iron Age fort misidentified as the medieval castle of Caereinion in a paper in the 1902 issue of Montgomeryshire Collections.

    Licence to Crenellate.

    In the English Castle John mentions a licence to crenellate granted to Thomas Kitson for Hengrave Hall in 1525. This was previously unknown to me and I’m most grateful to John for taking the time to correspond with me regarding this. His source was Gage, J., 1822, The History & Antiquities of Hengrave (London) p. 16 where Gage quotes fully the warrant for this licence (I don’t know if this still exists) not the licence itself but does not actually give a date. He does make that statement that licences were required to build fortified houses and carefully dates the building programme of Hengrave as starting in 1525 and ended in 1538. However, in his later book Gage, J., 1838, History & Antiquities of Suffolk, Thingoe Hundred p. 214 he just mentions the licence but does give a reference to the actual licence enrollment. This he does with a footnoted regnal year rather hiding the disconcerting fact for his belief that a licence was a legal requirement that the licence was actually granted in 1540, two years after the building was supposedly finished.
    It is, in fact, enrolled but calendared rather obscurely in the Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, of the Reign of Henry VIII Vol. 15 p. 177 No. 436.74 in a complex grant of lands as “with liberties”. This rather does rather raise the question as to if other licences to crenellate are also being missed from the calendars. However, the calendars for Henry VIII are rather different than that for other medieval monarchs and I believe the problem is restricted just to the reign of Henry VIII and should be limited. However proper and extensive searching of the original rolls is the only way to resolve this problem and I am unlikely to be able to do this in the near future.

    One point of interest in the warrant quoted by Gage was the occurence of the terms ‘turres et muros illos batellare tannlare. karnellare et machicollare’ and ‘battellat. vel tannelatos karnellat. et machicolat.’ This is similar to the terms ‘muros et turres illos batellare vel tinellare kernellare et marchecollare’ and ‘batellatos vel tinellatos, kernellatos aut marchecollatos’ mentioned in the 1533 licence to Cowdray House. Quite what was actually written is a bit of a question. Transcribing hand written abbreviated latin is not easy and I suspect neither transcriber was familliar with the tannlare/tinellare word and may have been guessing somewhat. Neither will have had the advantage of having at hand Lathem’s Revised Medieval Latin Word-List (my thanks to John for filling a great gap in my education by letting me know of this source). None of the four versions of this word appear, as such, in Lathem however for tanell/e, -o Lathem writes see tenacula which give for tenello, tanello, ‘to make loop-holes in walls 1628’. The root given is pincers or tongs and the keyhole loop does have the general shape of the iron workers tongs although the loops in the gatehouse of Cowdray are cross loops with round holes on four ends. The terminology of licences do tend to get more complex and repetitive over the centuries although the basic form is pretty stable and tenello doesn’t seem to appear in earlier licences although few have good full transcriptions of the original latin readily available.
    The full details are added at LOC/15400325.html

    30 April 2011

    There have been a few changes to the design and features of Gatehouse.

    • Many pages are now available in a format designed for hard copy printing. Simply click the print link, marked with a small printer icon, to open your browsers print page. I have tried to test this feature but please do let me know if there are problems. The over complex menu 'fortifications' has been cut to a link to the lists page. The hypertext format has been changed to something a little more visually intrusive.
    • The National Heritage List for England was released online at the beginning of April. This is a new listing of historic buildings and monuments under various statutory protection such as listing building status and scheduled monuments. Gatehouse has had tried to record legal status for sites for some years and has provided links to the Images of England website which had a 2005 version of the buildings list. More recently English Heritage produced a current version of the buildings list online as Listed Buildings online but this site has been superseded by NHLE. Unfortunately the record numbers for these two list are different and this required making new fields in the gatehouse databases although English Heritage did provide me with a copy of a spreadsheet which greatly eased the number generation (my thanks to Clare Hughes, Heritage Gateway & Access to Designation Data Manager). The listing button has updated although English Heritage has retain Images of England and I've retained a link to that site which, sometimes, has pictures of the listed building.
    • For scheduled monuments Gatehouses recording of this was a bit hit and miss. I recently discovered that the MAGIC website had scheduled monuments mapped and sometimes had a version of the scheduling report. I was gradually working through MAGIC to identify scheduled monuments and I've continued and finished this with the NHLE map search facility. I've introduced a new button which takes you the HNLE record but kept the MAGIC button which opens up a map. It should be noted that many scheduling records have not yet been digitalised and that all that may be available from both NHLE and MAGIC is the name of the site and a map of the scheduled area.
    • NB. I record listed building which are built on the site of medieval fortification, particularly if the listing report notes the historical significance of the site. This is not clear without reading the list report and it should not be assumed that a site I record as listed has any upstanding medieval building. For scheduled monument it may well be that the scheduling records the site as something other than medieval; A bastle built within a Roman milefort will be scheduled as Roman not medieval. Also note Gatehouse records sites which are doubtful or have been rejected as medieval so a number of scheduled round barrows are within the Gatehouse records.

    With the kind help of Bill Woodburn I've added a full transcription of the licence to empark and crenellate Cowdray House. This very late licence is quite perplexing. Although Cowdray was a house brought by Sir William fitzWilliam, one of the major minister of Henry VIII regime, the licence is, in fact, granted to a number of men who were his feoffees. Another perplexing aspect of the licence is the house is licenced for muros et turres illos batellare vel tinellare kernellare et marchecollare (walls and towers ... with battlements or 'tinellare' crenellations and machiolations). What was a 'tinellare' crenellation? I'm no latin scholar but the closest translation to tinellare I can get is 'cowlstaff' a pole used to carry loads between two men. Was this some form of crenellation where the battlements were supported on projecting machiolations? Has anyone come across this term before or can add any information?

    I've added, as a dubious site, the scheduled moated site at Bewick in Holderness suggested as a possible site for the, probably fanciful, castle of Aldbrough. Although not a castle site Bewick is an example of a lordly moated residence although it doesn't seem to have ever have been described fortified.

    6 April 2011

    The link to the MAGIC website has been revised. This now opens a map at 1:2000 scale with scheduled monuments and a few other carefully selected levels as default, simplifying use. Within the Magic window it is sometimes possible to get an extract from the scheduling report for some English monuments. I am now working at recording the scheduled monument number and directly linking to this extract. About half of 1600 or so scheduled monuments have now been done although not all these have an online scheduling report. The remainer should be complete by the end of April.

    The scheduled monuments and listed buildings scheme are being revised and brough under one umbrella as the National Heritage List for England. This new online resource was launched on 4 April 2011 and has ' new unified numbering system but will also have the old listing or scheduling numbers as legacy reference numbers' (Robin Page, English Heritage). At first glimpse this is not particularly attractive and does not seem to add anything much to the English Heritage Listed Buildings Online site or the scheduling extracts from MAGIC and certainly does not replace PastScape. However, over time it is likely to develope and will ultimately replace these other resources. The new NHLE numbers will be added to Gatehouse in the next month or two.

    Records for the historic counties of Leicestershire, Rutland, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have been checked and revised.

    • Groby Castle Hill was the site of a TimeTeam excavtion broadcast on 20 March 2011 and its record has been updated to reference this.
    • Reading the Leicestershire VCH earthworks chapter has resulted in adding a highly dubious site at Husband's Bosworth described in terms suggesting a fortified manor house.
    • Reading the Rutland VCH earthworks chapter has lead to the addition of a rather more certain fortified manor house at Empingham Hall Close.

    Other recent Time Team programmes have included;

    • Mont Orgueil Castle, Jersey where revising the record lead to a link to the 2008, Conservation Plan for Mont Orguiel, Jersey by the Jersey Heritage Trust which is an exceptional full report on the castle.
    • Llancaiach Fawr Manor House, Glamorgan. This was described in the programme as 'fortified' and on examination of the HER record was found to be described as 'semi-fortified' there so a new record for this site has been added. However since the TimeTeam excavation showed the house was new built c. 1550 on a green field site without a moat or gatehouse quite what was meant by fortified is rather a mystery to me. The suggestion that some interior doors with draw bars and a back stairs described as an "escape" route showed the family were "paranoid" seemed to have more to do with modern fantasy than historical reality. Why should such simple domestic defences, probably fairly common at all levels of society, be called fortifications?

    All the downloadable databases have been undated and republished.

    14 March 2011

    The big visual difference regular user of Gatehouse will notice is the addition of several more links buttons.

    • The 'listing button' is now turned into 2 buttons. L.B.O. goes to the English Heritage Listed Buildings Online site (in practice you need to click this button confirm agreement to the terms and then go back to the gatehouse page and click the button again to get to the right record.). This gives the must up to date version of the listing description. I.O.E. goes to the English Heritage Images of England site which sometimes has photographs and has the pre 2001 listing description (although in practice these are usually the same)
    • New buttons added are;
      • Magic - the UK governmental Multi Agency Geographic Information for the Countryside website. This is a complex website that takes time to fully appreciate and which can be laboriously slow but has considerable useful content (including showing the area of scheduled monuments, ancient woodlands, registered battlefields, soilscape) Unfortunately, although a UK government site most of the information available relates only to England. However the very high scale of OS map available on the site makes it useful for Wales as well.
      • Vision of Britain - links to A vision of Britain through time 'A vision of Britain between 1801 and 2001. Including maps, statistical trends and historical descriptions.' Which has a 1st edition 1" OS map and usually transcription from nineteenth century Gazetteers.
      • EarthTools - uses the Google maps/air photo but adds a few useful features including elevations and local sunrise/sunset times (if you must have that sun rising over the castle keep photograph.)
      • Getmapping is a commercial site selling their own air photos. Since, for cropmarks different photos may show better details these can be useful and in addition the previews of some sites in the south east included 1940's RAF photos which may be useful for reading the medieval landscape of developed areas.
      • Flickr the photosharing website may be useful but searches based on site names may give very variable results. In practice it may be useful for major masonry castles but unlikely to be of much use for earthworks.
      • Panoramio is like Geograph a photosharing site based of geographical location which may well have photos of a site but will often, at least, show the nature of the landscape.

    The records for Buckinghamshire and Cheshire have been reviewed. The lat/long figures have been manually corrected on Google Maps to 5 decimal accuracy and links to online copies of older journals added. For Cheshire links to George Ormerod's History of the County Palatine and city of Chester have been added. As with Blomefield for Norfolk this is nearly 200 years old but remains a good source for tenurial histories and does have some site descriptions. For some lost sites, such as the original castle at Macclesfield, Ormerod is the sole authority.

    The review clarified two licences to crenellate.

    1. I found a source reference for the 1336 LC for Aston Mullins, Buckinghamshire which I'd previously missed in the Calendar of Charter Rolls. The full details of this licence, to John Mullins and his wife 'Giles' are now given (Giles is the transcription given in the calendar although the name is most usually given as Egidia). The record for this licence has been changed from possible to certain.
    2. The supposed LC for Warmingham, Cheshire reportedly given in 1349 (a exceptional date at the height of the Black Death) is now rejected as a misreporting of the licence granted to Kibbleston, Staffs in 1338. The origin of this report seems to be a misreading of an awkward sentence in William Dugdale's The Antiquities of Warwickshire by Ormerod followed by a further transcription error by Anthony Emery working from Ormerod. The record for this licence has been changed from possible to reject.

    In other work
    A new record has been added for Southampton Kings House. There does seem to have been supplementary royal accommodation to the castle at Southampton although the identification of this with the surviving ruins of the merchants house called 'King John's Palace' is probably specious.
    Several additions to the bibliographies, mainly from older volumes of the Castle Studies Group Journals.

    The downloadable England Databases have been undated and republished.

    9 Febuary 2011

    In anticipation of the Castle Studies Group Conference, to be held in Colchester this April, I have done a site by site review of the Gatehouse records for East Anglia (Cambridgeshire, Essex, Huntingdonshire, Middlesex (including the City of London), Norfolk and Suffolk. Records have been checked; the lat/long figures have been manually corrected on Google Maps to 5 decimal accuracy; Some new references have been added, notably the tenurial histories of Francis Blomefield for Norfolk which although 200 years old have not yet been superceded plus some other sources such as the poor earthworks chapter of the VCH for Essex; Hypertext links to online copies/transcriptions of these and some of the existing references have been added; Site descriptions have been extended and are more clearly attributed.

    This review has resulted in the following:–

    • Three licences to crenellate were found to have been misattributed.
      • Brymshoo, one of a number of houses licenced to Humphrey Bohun in 1347, I had, because of my early pre-conceptions about licenced houses, previously tentatively identified as a mound, suggested as a motte, called Brimstone Hill. This mound is probably a 'red hill' and not a medieval residential site of any type. Brymshoo may have been a manor previously owned by the Brimson family and fairly recently purchased by Bohun of which the moated New Hall Purleigh, called "Brymshams" in 1527, seems a likely candidate.
      • Stanstede, a house licenced to Robert Burghcher in 1341, I had, because of assuming Parker to be correct, identified at Stansted Hall, near Stansted Mountfichet. This was the site of a royal hunting lodge in the C12 but never a holding of Burghcher. In fact the licenced house was Stanstead Hall near Halstead of which only the moat remains from the C14 although a description of the house in 1553 does exist.
      • Unfortunately the picking of the wrong one of two Stansteds in Essex was repeated for Roydon Hall in Norfolk. Two Roydon Halls existed in Norfolk, one near Diss and the other, also called 'The Rey' near Castle Rising. The licence granted to Thomas Daniell for 'Ridon' in 1447 was for the later and not, as previously stated by me, for the former. Of 'The Rey' traces of the moat remained until recently but the house was demolished in 1454 in an interesting set of events. A description of this house, which was built around 1400, does survive.
    • Nine new records have been created:–
      • Although the record for Bryshmoo has been corrected Brimstone Hill has been added as a new 'reject' record.
      • Another 'reject' record added is a probably mill mound at Maldon Mountfield identified in the poor VCH Essex earthworks chapter in terms which suggest a motte.
      • A further 'reject' is an earthwork in Pandal Wood, Southminster, Essex suggested in 1930 as a 'Viking camp' and possibly recorded in the C13 as Suncastre.
      • Bruce Castle in Tottenham has been added as a questionable castle and a possible palace.
      • Although Stansted Hall, Stansted Mountfitchet, was not a licenced house, it was a royal palace and a record has been added for it as a palace.
      • To be more consistent with the records for late medieval and Elizabethan artillery forts I broken up the record for Lowestoft defences into three records, one for each of the three batteries of Henry VIII (The Ness and the North and South batteries)
      • and similarly the Elizabethan defences of Southwold are split into Gun Hill and Higham Bulwark.
      • Kennighall Place, used as a royal residence by Lady Mary (Bloody Queen Mary) and Queen Elizabeth has been added as a royal palace.
    • I have previously failed to appreciate that until 1888 the Norfolk/Suffolk county boundary followed the line of the River Little Ouse and ran straight through the middle of the town of Thetford. Since the Gatehouse 'historic counties' are based on the counties before 1888 this means the records for Red Castle, the Bishops Palace, the late Saxon town defences and Warren Lodge were all mislocated as in Norfolk. They are now placed in historic Suffolk.

    In the 'other sources' field I've added references to the 2010 Heritage at Risk Register (with links to the online copies). 281 of the sites recorded in Gatehouse are at risk but it is positive to note that Mettingham Castle has come off the Register. The Archaeology Data Service has added to its Grey literature library and I've added the relevant references and links; notably is a Birmingham Archaeology report on archaeological works at Tutbury Castle in 2005.

    The downloadable England Databases have been undated and republished.

    19 January 2011

    The work on bringing the Gatehouse bibliography into a standard Harvard format with book and journal titles in italics is complete (except for the numerous errors which undoubtedly exist and will need to be corrected) and the databases have been reposted and the website updated. This rather tedious task has involved a record by record examination and numerous references have been made clearer and some errors found and corrected. In particular the references to primary sources* have been expanded from abbreviated form to full Harvard standard and most of these now have a link to a scanned online copy. A great deal of work still needs to be done on references to primary sources but I have used David Cathcart King's work to add a few more such references the Welsh Marches.

    I have also coded the database so that the webpages can now have hyperlinks in the description text. I've replaced most 'q.v.' with hyperlinks. As the description text get to the higher standard I'm implementing such hyperlinks should help in making comparisons between sites easier.

    Three new sites have been added;

    • Added the qv hyperlinks to the welsh records lead to the realisation I didn't have a record for Castell Pen y Garn, Prenteg "the scant remains of what is thought to be one of a small cluster of early stone-built castles constructed in Gwynedd at the end of the twelfth century" recorded by RCAHMW in Coflein but seemingly not documented in print.
    • Matt Emmott has brought to my attention the Warcop Vicarage Moat "The vicarage house hath been anciently moated round, including the garden, orchard and outhouses; with a drawbridge at the entrance". This is certainly a well preserved moat bigger than the usual homestead moat and more impressive than the moat of many houses granted licences to crenellate although I suspect the drawbridge mentioned in Nicolson and Burns was a simple timber affair not a gatehouse. I've recorded it as a doubtful 'fortified manor house' (a term nearly as contested and meaningless as 'keep' or 'pele tower') but this exactly the sort of site that should be examined in detail to understand the medieval context in which castles were built.
    • Finally after reading the new excellent Castle Studies Group Journal (the bibliographical references have been added to Gatehouse), in particular John Harris postscript on machiolations, I realised I had no record for Lincoln Cathedral. Personally I have major questions about the interpretation of Remigius's Tower but have recorded this as a probable Masonry Castle on the strength of Stocker and Vince (available online). I had been aware of this interpretation and have been to the cathedral to examine it personally but, as is the way with such things and not being perfect, I'd forgotten to add it to Gatehouse until now.

    *By 'primary source' I generally mean the C19 and later transcriptions and translations published by the Rolls Society etc. These are a wonderful example of impressive scholarship but need to be used with care since both the original documents and the translations will have bias and a proper understand needs to take into account both the milieu of the medieval world and High Imperial Britain.

    20 December 2010

    Seasons greetings to one and all.

    Following a most informative and helpful email from James Wright, a former Nottinghamshire County Council archaeologist, I finally got round to getting hold of his book Castles of Nottinghamshire (2008: NCC). Going through this has added three new sites to the Gatehouse database. Bilborough moat was a square moat just north of St Martins church Bilborough which was excavated in the late 1930s. The excavation plan, reproduced in James's book, suggests there may strong small tower in one corner of the moated area making the site look rather like a cross between a pele tower and barmekin and a homestead moat. Clipstone Pele (aka Beeston Lodge), built by Edward II and dismantled a few years later by Edward III, was an accessory hunting lodge to Clipstone Palace. All that now survives is a broken pile of undatable rubble and some fishponds. The rubble probably represents the gatehouse, which was later converted into a house, most of the actual original buildings being of timber. Finally and quite shockingly really, from my point of view of trying to have a comprehensive gazetteer, is Haughton Duck Decoy. This mound, with a spiral terrace in the middle of ornamental lakes, was clearly used as a shooting platform for field sports and is a very early example of such a feature and this aspect of its history seems to have dominated the recording of the site. However in the late 1970's it was scheduled as a motte and bailey and it can be fairly readily seen how the motte was adapted and how, in this low lying area, the castle bailey ditches were converted and extended into lakes. The site is now fairly isolated although the remains of the former parish church of the DMV of Haughton, about a mile NE, still survive. Despite the scheduling the NMR had it categorised only as a duck decoy although they inform me the record will be updated. As far as I'm aware only James's book has brought this possible motte and bailey castle to general attention.

    All the Nottinghamshire records have been updated and most have better descriptions all properly attributed. Site locations have been checked so that the Google Map centres on site. The bibliographical references are now in the more standard Harvard format ó with book titles in italic.

    Work progresses in altering all records to this new format, a task which may well produce some odd and expected results on some records and which therefore requires considerable proof-reading. The records of the individual licence to crenellate have been brought up to the new standard and house style. The small database for 'The Islands' (The Channel Isles and the Isle of Man) has also been done and the lat/long reading checked and centred. A link to the Google air photos for the Channel Isles is now given although these are lower resolution than on the mainland.

    Some slight design changes to various bibliographies and individual book records will hopefully make these a little cleaner, clearer and more consistent in house style.

    9 December 2010

    From now on I will also be sending emails of these updates of the website and databases to anyone who would like to receive them. See the contact page for a form to be added to the mailing list.

    6 December 2010

    Some pages of statistical information have been added. Page one is table of number of sites in England, Wales and the Islands by type. Page two is tables of the accepted sites by historic counties of Wales and England. Page three is several tables of the density of castle sites by historic counties of England and Wales. Other pages will be added later.

    26 November 2010

    Welcome to the new look Gatehouse.

    The design changes may make the site look different but all the same features remain hopefully it a slightly clear fashion. I remain committed to site pages that have all the information on one page and which maintain stable urls.

    The databases are all republished with the bibliographic references in a somewhat more standard Harvard notation. The Bing Maps air photos are now linked to for England.

    25 October 2010

    Just posted today is a major revision of the database for Wales. Site archaeological description are generally extended, with much clearer attribution. Bibliographical sources have the usual updates but considerable work has been done on extending the references to primary sources with many more links to scans and transcriptions of these primary sources. For the major royal castles the very numerous primary sources mean it would be a Herculean feat to reference all primary sources but I hope the sources added (Mostly derived from the works of David Cathcart King) will extended the usefulness of Gatehouse as a starting point for research.

    Multimap, which provided online access to air photos and Ordnance Survey maps, has been taken off line and has been replaced by Bing Maps. Unfortunately Bing Maps does not allow searching by OS grid reference in the way Multimap did although it does still provide the Ordnance Survey map so essential for reading landscapes. I've added a mash up for Bing Map for Wales based on the latitude/longitudes to replace the Multimap mashup. I've physical looked at all Welsh sites to ensure accuracy to a few metres. The mash up for England will follow shortly although, initially, the accuracy may not be as good.

    Some site fit into more than one type description but with varying degrees of certitude so for the welsh database there are now several type fields each with corresponding 'certainty' field. This has resulted in some slight design changes to the web pages.

    In an attempt to be cool I've added a favicon (the little icon in the browser bookmarks), based on the Gatehouse logo. There are brownie points for anyone who can identify the actual gatehouse I use in the logo.

    30 June 2010

    With the help of Andrew Herrett, I've added fields for latitude and longitude to all records. Using this link I've been able to add a link to Google maps air photos. These means you now have a choice of two air photos, Multimap and Google, general these are much the same but are taken a different times and may show crop marks with more or less clarity.

    There are some problems with conversions between OS grid references and latitude/longitude and I will be checking records but be aware there may be some slight errors in location.

    27 June 2010

    The Derbyshire and East Sussex HER have gone online as part of Heritage Gateway and the North Lincolnshire HER has been added to the ADS archsearch facility. Records have been updated to reflect these online sources. All the record for the historic county of Sussex have been updated with expanded bibliographical references (with improved links) and improved descriptions.

    New sites added: Castle Croft, Ninfield, East Sussex, is a rejected motte; Berwick, East Sussex, a possible small motte; Castle Bottoms, Derbyshire, a rejected site; Netherseal Old Hall, Derbyshire, is allegedly built on the foundations of a Norman castle although no real evidence supports this; North Lees Hall, Derbyshire is a C16 domestic tower house with battlements; Haxey, North Lincolnshire, might just have been a castle site, although this is probably an obscure reference to nearby Kinard Castle, Owston Ferry. Research I've done for a forthcoming paper on crenellated town houses has identified a number of these in Kingston upon Hull and these now get a page.

    Databases for England republished.

    2 June 2010

    I've moved the Google search engine into the sites header to easy searching.

    30 April 2010

    The licences to crenellate have been revised and updated. There have been some design changes, mainly to the list, which I hope will make things a little clearer and easier to read. However, mostly the changes are expanded quotations from the sources, and links to scanned online copies of these sources. A few errors have been corrected. A few records have better detail and I am now convinced by D.R. Perriam's argument that the licences to William Strickland for a cameram suam in villa de Penreth in 1397 and 1399 were for Hutton Hall and not Penrith Castle. Licence to crenellate databases republished.

    18 April 2010

    The Cornwall and Scilly HER and Devon and Dartmoor HER have been added to the Heritage Gateway Database. Records have been updated to reflect this new information and the following possible sites have been added to the Gatehouse gazetteer; Fort Picklecombe(The site of an Elizabethan battery); Lamerton motte and bailey (A possible motte and bailey); Hurlstone Point gun battery and Gun battery on other side of bay from Hurlstone Point (a pair of planned and possibly built Henrician batteries protecting the beach at Porlock); Frampton Castle, St Ervan (a lost possible castle mentioned by William Worcester); Weston Underwood moated site (suggested as a denuded motte). A number of other rather more doubtful site also added including a supposed motte at Castle Floor in Cornwall, which the county archaeologist supports as a motte, although I'm rather more doubtful.

    The records for Warwickshire and Somerset have also been updated with better attribution and improved links to books. Some slight changes made to the infomation on the bottom of site web pages. English databases republished.

    12 March 2010

    A recent trip to the newly opened Hull History Centre allowed me to view the original patent letter of Edward III confirming a licence to crenellate the walls of Kingston upon Hull with a further grant to crenellate the burgesses houses. I have been most kindly granted permission to photograph this and use the images in Gatehouse. The image has been added to the essay on licences to crenellate and the entry in the list of licences has been expanded with a full, if somewhat flowery, translation from Boyle, J.R., 1905, Charters and Letters Patent granted to Kingston upon Hull (Hull Corporation).

    12 January 2010

    Happy New Year.

    A couple more books added to the general bibliography; Peter Rex's 1066: A New History of the Norman Conquest and the excellent collection of conference papers The Impact of the Edwardian Castles in Wales edited by Diane William and John Kenyon. In the later a paper by Rick Turner drew my attention to the lost Pareas Hall, in Chester, a rare fortified town house. I had previous noted that this was an area where little study had been done and since Rick had only identified one other fortified town house himself it was clear that this really was an area where data was lacking. I was aware of about 20 such houses but had previously recorded these as fortified manor houses and they were rather lost in that large group of buildings. Therefore, I've introduced a new 'type' of fortified building the fortified town house and I hope a seperate listing will draw better attention to a rare and mostly lost medieval building. As always I do welcome further help and contributions with this list and any other part of Gatehouse.

    The relavant bibliographic references to The Impact have been added to the site bibliographies as have the references from the latest Castles Studies Group Journal - including the excellent paper from Pamela Marshall on the donjon of Colchester Castle.

    17 December 2009

    I've done some slight design changes, the most obvious is a new, cleaner and clearer logo. I hope a more useful feature is a small page with comments and links for obtaining online and hard copies of the books, serial articles, theses etc. click here

    The slow steady review of records continues and the records for Derbyshire, Devon and Suffolk have all been reviewed and edited. The Suffolk HER has been added to Heritage Gateway. Heritage Gateway is now becoming an extremely useful archaeological resource and I do hope all English authorities will add their HERs to it. Increasing numbers of C19 and early C20 books and journals are being scanned and put online and I am gradually adding direct links to some of these older papers to the site bibliographies.

    New sites – the online Suffolk HER has added Pismere Castle, Barrow Hall, Necton Old Hall, Wadgell's Farm, Helmingham Hall, Melford Hall, Braiseworth Hall, Wattisham Hall and the Castello of Hamo Petit at Brantham, mainly fortified manor houses plus a few 'reject sites'. Also added Kingsholm Palace, a Saxon palace near Gloucester that may have some use by William the Conquerer. An old paper by George Clark, the prime Victorian castellologist, 'Contribution towards a complete list of moated mounds or burhs' (1889, The Archaeological Journal Vol. 46 pp. 197-217) added a couple of dozen sites most one which can be rejected but Horsbury Castle Hill near Wakefield, levelled before 1816, may well have been a motte. Chasing down his reference to 'The Yoder' lead to the particularly sad account of the treatment of the deserted medieval village of Yoden in Peterlee. Here, in the early 1970s, attempts were made to preserve the site 'as a park of archaeological interest with easy access for the public'. This involved destroying the archaeology by using a tractor drawn rotovator prior to (unsuccessful) grass seeding!

    28 October 2009

    A busy summer out in the field, visiting sites and taking photos, as well as my ongoing research into murage, has slowed down my more generally reading but I have final caught up with reading Colin Platt's paper Revisionism in Castle Studies: A Caution and the response by Oliver Crieghton and Robert Liddiard Fighting Yesterdays Battle: Beyond War or Status in Castle Studies. Whilst caution is worthwhile I do feel that the call made by most modern castellologists to view castle as complex and diverse and not in simplistic militaristic ways is compelling. Two texts show this; Osprey publications latest text by Christopher Gravett English Castles 1200-1300, clearly written for a military minded target audience is narrow and has nothing of value in it; it could have been written by Sidney Toy eighty years ago. One ends up feeling that Gravett, who was a custodian of the Royal Armouries, sees castles as little more than large, immobile suits of armour. The 'revisionist call for a wider study of high status buildings and Naomi Payne's 2003 PhD thesis, available via EThOS, The medieval residences of the bishops of Bath and Wells, and Salisbury is, for a PhD thesis, very readable and full of much valuable stuff. The difference between the two is most clear in the way the landscape is dealt with. Gravett ignores landscape entirely, picturing Bedford castle as isolated in open country rather than as part of an urban landscape, whilst Payne gives much detail of the deer parks, fishponds etc.

    Payne includes, as an appendix, a gazetteer of all medieval episcopal residences in England and Wales and this has added much bibliographical detail to the databases and two possible sites; Congresbury Bishop's Court and Yatton both in Somerset. She also listed Burstow, although I have rejected this as an episcopal residence and Chartham, mis-located by her as at Chatham but was a at small village west of Canterbury where a manor house of Chirstchurch Priory seems to have been used by Archbishop Winchelsea in the early 14th century when he was excluded by the king from the usual palaces of the see of Canterbury.

    These new details and several other small additions and updates to site records make it worthwhile republished the databases.

    24 August 2009

    The site by site review of the databases, correcting some errors and expanding the site descriptions and giving clearer attributions continues with Cornwall, Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire North of the Sands (now seperately listed). This review has resulted in me reconsidering Botelet Castle, Cornwall and Loweswater Pele, Cumberland.

    John Kenyon's annual bibliography for the Castle Studies Group has been published and the bibliographical details that I've not previously spotted have been added to the various site pages; this brought to my notice Burghill 'Castle' in Herefordshire, (re)identifed by T. Wardle.

    The Archaeology Data Service have put online the Wiltshire Extensive Urban Survey which added Ramsbury 'Castle'

    Added to the bibliography are Julian Humphrey's account of 'English castles under siege' Enemies at the Gate, part of the classic and over emphasised military view of the castle. A more modern revisionist account is Oliver Creighton's Designs Upon the Land which demonstrates the importance of castle as centrepieces of designed landscapes. One of the most important parts of these designed landscape and a major reason for the siting of many castles was hunting; Richard Almond's Medieval Hunting is a very readable account of this pursuit. The passage on poaching (a practice carried out by all levels of society inculding lords and senior clergy men) shows some of the reason why hunting lodges would need to be strongly built and defended and dressed up with the martial symbols of lordship and the power to prosecute.

    Added to links is Andrew Herrett's CastleFacts website. Based on the databases collated by me. Andrew's well designed site makes use of the developments in broadband access to provided high resolution photographs. Not yet as extensive in coverage as the older photo catalogue sites but usually provides many more photographs, of higher resolution, allowing a much better chance to understand the castle. I certainly hope users of this site will be willing to share their own photographs of castles with Andrew.

    13 June 2009

    Some slight changes to pages (mainly picking up on spelling mistakes). I am slowly doing a site by site review of the databases, correcting some errors and expanding the site descriptions and giving clearer attributions. I've done this for Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Berwick, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Cheshire. The other counties will slowly follow.

    I've been informed a several new potential sites;

    12 May 2009

    The web pages have undergone some changes. Clicking on the National Monument Record number will now open the PastScape or Coflein record page in a new window. Clicking on the County Historic Environment Record number will either open the online record page, where this exists, or the contact details for the specific HER. The pages for the Islands site now have a mash up with an air photo from Google Maps.

    A few more county HERs have gone online (details of all online HERs on the links page) and this, and a general run through the other online HERs, has produced the following new entries on the database.

    Databases will all be republished in the next couple of days.

    22 April 2009

    Databases all republished in the last couple of days. There have been some slight changes–mainly removing dead web links and the following significant changes and additions:

    The Staffordshire HER has gone online as part of the HeritageGateway database. This has added a few sites;

    1. 1. Burton upon Trent Bridge–the lost medieval bridge reportedly had a fortified gatehouse.
    2. 2. Auctioneers Mound, Loggerheads–a possible motte
    3. 3. Saxon's Low, Tittensor–A large mound, scheduled as a barrow but sometimes consider a motte is rejected as a natural feature.
    4. 4. Farewell Mill Farm–once reported as a possible castle site is rejected as quarry mounds and farm workings.
    5. 5. Badger Slade Earthwork–on Cannock Chase has been cataloged as a 'ringwork' although seemingly is a 'ringditch' - rejected as a castle by me.

    Rob Prince, who took part in the excavations of Sully Castle, informed me of some small standing remains I had not, previously, noted. Other contributions are noted on the acknowledgement page.

    My current research is looking at murage, using a working definition of royal and quasi-royal support for the building of urban communal 'defences'. This is still in a relatively early stage, although I have added some of the primary source references to the relevant towns pages. One thing of note was the issue of a grant, in 1310, 'for a term of two years, to the bailiffs and good men of the town of Ravensere, of murage for the repair of their quay, overthrown by the violence of the sea.' (CPR 1307-1313 p281). Whilst clearly not a fortification in the usual sense I've added a page for Ravenser Odd, a port near Spurn Point, long lost to coastal erosion.

    1 January 2009

    A Happy New Year to everyone.

    The Oxfordshire Historic Environment Record has gone online as Oxfordshire Heritage Search and this has added a few sites. Most of these are doubtful or lost sites but Leafield Barrow, previous considered as a barrow, has been rescheduled as a motte. The lost Jews Mount, a mound outside Oxford Castle now has a separate page. The National Trust Sites and Monuments Record is part of the ArchSearch database and from this a couple of doubtful sites have been added including a possible lost tower at Hotbank, Northumberland. I've checked through other HERs and this also has added a few more sites; A hunting lodge at Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, a tower at Tower Brae and a moated site at Gale Bay, both in Cumberland. After careful consideration and examination of some of the primary sources I've now rejected Derek Renn's identification of a moated site at Storwood as the site of the historically recorded Wheldrake castle, which now gets its own page. Site pages and databases will be republished over the next day or two.

    12 December 2008

    The site pages have been reposted to reflect some slight changes and latest updates in bibliographical details.

    1 October 2008

    The list of licences to crenellate has been repost to reflect the slight changes my ongoing research has made to the previous version. The details page for each licence now includes some biographical details of the individuals granted such a licence. Hours and hours of work produced not a lot in many cases I'm afraid but what little was found I've made available.

    11 July 2008

    A new, cleaner, look to the site will, hopefully make using the site a little easier for people with poorer sight. The margin is a picture of herringbone masonry at Tamworth Castle. The 'mash up' with the MultiMap air photo has been changed to their newer, higher resolution site with bigger pictures and a better interface, although slightly less precise location. Location is now at six figure OS -100m accuracy rather than eight figure 10m accuracy. The OS reference should be the south west corner of the square area containing the site so usually the site will be in the upper right part of the air photo. These MultiMap air photos can be very useful, although castles in woodland remain difficult to see. Some areas, mainly in the south of England, also have 'birds eye' oblique aerial views which are particularly nice.

    The databases have been reposted although alteration are slight (other than the creation of a new field 'sixfigOS' needed for the link to MultiMap.

    4 April 2008

    Some additions to the site bibliographies justify updating and reposting the databases and I've added a few texts to the bibliography. I've added to the welsh database the medieval tower and manorial site at Harold's House, Portskewett, Monmouthshire, where the tower was described as 'fortified' in the TimeTeam programme of the evaluation excavation done in June 2007, where it was nice to see Jeremy Knight.

    14 November 2007

    Research has identified another site given a licence to crenellate. This is 'Brugewaltii' (Bridgwater castle, Somerset) licence granted to William Briwere in June 1200. The statistic on the analysis of licences and the distribution map have been updated.

    9 November 2007

    A new essay "Crenellating the Ego " has been added. This essay explores the psychological factors influencing castle forms and the psychological origin of the distorting bias towards military views of the castle.

    17 October 2007

    I've spent the last month catching up with the online developments that I missed over the summer.

    Several Historic Environment Records (or Sites and Monuments Records) have come online in various forms. The records held by the Clwyd and Powys Archaeological Trust are now part of the ADS database. This has added over a 100 new records to the Welsh database, although almost all of these a dubious mounds or placenames which can actually be rejected as castle sites.

    A major new site is Heritage Gateway which is a database combining the National Monument Record (PastScape), the Listed buildings index (Images of England), the NMR Excavation Index and the HER's of Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk. Clearly this intended to expand to include all HER's although searching such a vast database may well prove near impossible - even at the moment it seems to be pushing the boundaries of the server with some very erratic behaviour.

    New county databases are;

    Searches of these sites have added a few new additions to the databases.

    British History Online has had a change of looks and has added several more Victoria County History volumes and other texts to which I've added links in the relevant building bibliographies.

    I've also updated the Journals links page. A notably site is that for the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society which not only has an index of its Transactions but actually has pdf copies online of the full contents of the journals from 1876-1995.

    See my links page for more details and sites.

    The online records and downloadable databases have all been updated.

    8 September 2007

    Samuel Lewis's 1849 4th edition of A Topographical Dictionary of Wales added to the monument bibliographies with links to the online edition provided by British History Online. Whilst not an authorative archaeological resource this is useful for descriptions of sites and parishes in the early 19th century generally before industrialisation. A few dubious sites added on the bases of local traditions reported by Lewis; notable is a castle site at Llangynidr.

    The link to Old Maps, which has been broken for a while because of their change to their site, is repaired for Welsh sites. The English sites web pages will be updated to repair this link in the next week or so.

    20 August 2007

    My health having improved somewhat over the summer I shall continue with this project for the meanwhile, although at a reduce level of activity. For the time being this means just some small additions to the individual monument bibliographies.

    9 May 2007

    Charles Taylor of has kindly offered to host this web site. No more work is being done on the site and it will stop being available at the domain in mid October 2007 but will be available at I express my sincere gratitude to Charles for his very kind offer to keep this site online.

    8 April 2007

    Ill health has forced me to end this project. The databases and web site have undergone a final revision. The site will go offline at the end of October 2007. Please feel free to download the databases and any parts of the web site., including pictures and maps, for your own use.

    30 January 2007

    A new essay "Defining the Castle" has been added. This essay attempts to debunk the castle as a military building, arguing the main function was administrative. It also looks at the gatehouse as a symbol of lordship, acknowledging that this aspect of the castle is a pre-Conquest, saxon, tradition. It calls for a greater appreciation of the psychology factors that effect the choice to fortify a building and to describe a building as military.

    21 January 2007

    English and Welsh site pages and indexes again reposted because of more small additions to the bibliographies and the addition of a couple more dubious sites. A slight change to the site page design template should make the site pages a little easier to read.

    1 January 2007

    English and Welsh site pages and indexes reposted mainly because of widespread but relatively small additions to the bibliographies. I'm starting to go through Leland's itinerary and this is producing some interesting results (I suspect that there may have been a medieval castle on the site now occupied by Lullingstone Castle) including a few new possible sites, such as Glasney College. A few other possible English sites entered.

    A new updated and more detailed distribution map of artillery fortifications posted.

    Some slight additions to the licences to crenellate listing, most notably Moigne Court which was licenced to be fortified with an uncrenellated wall. This is not a licence to crenellate but an important document if licences to crenellate are to be truly understood as recognition of nobility rather than as some permission to fortify.

    23 November 2006
    I've added a link from the page of sites issued licences to crenellate to the details of the licence. I've also reposted the databases and added an excel version of the databases to the downloadable formats. See the download page.
    12 November 2006
    The individual site pages and the indexes are being reposted because of;
    • Some slight changes in site design.
    • The addition of more sites;
    • The continual ongoing additions to the site bibliographies (including adding the references to castles in, the aforesaid, Britannia - online in Latin and an English Translation by Philemon Holland as a hypertext critical edition by Dana F. Sutton)

    A distribution map has been added to the article on licences to crenellate.

    15 September 2006

    Three weeks of intense research has updated the list of licences to crenellate. These now have much more information and detail, licences have been added and reference are now given to the PRO translations of the original Patent and Charter Rolls. Some analysis of the details of these licences is added.

    This research has identified another 18 or so possible fortified manor houses which have been added to the database, the pages have been added and the indexes updated.

    A direct link to the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service has been added on the individual site pages. This gives a direct look at the 1:25,000 scale map, which is useful for understanding the landscape form.

    11 August 2006

    A reorganisation of site has introduced an 'Other Information' section. I've gradually been adding extra bits to the site such as distribution maps and a list of Licences to Crenellate and these now have their own section and menu link. The latest addition to this section is some contemporary late medieval list of castles and towers in Northumberland.

    17 June 2006

    A slight reorganisation of the bibliography into three sections should make this feature more usable by reducing the length of lists to scroll down. The Bibliography is now split into General Texts, for background information; Gazetteers, my main sources; and Journal web sites.

    15 June 2006

    The major part of my work continues to be expanding the bibliographical references for sites. (Sitting in libraries trawling through books is much less enjoyable than going around the countryside taking photographs. There are quite a few web sites with collections of castle photographs, there are very few with proper bibliographical references.). I've recently moved to Manchester where I have better access to quality libraries so this major part of the project continues with somewhat renewed vigour.

    A provisional list of Licences to Crenellate is now included and available for download. A short essay on minor Norman earthwork and timber castles has been added under the help section. A section with distribution maps derived from the databases has been added, this is, as yet, in it's early stages and I intend to add many more distribution maps in the future. (The latest addition is a map of early castles, mottes and ringworks. Many sources are still using Renn's map of 1959, and King's map of 1966 so an update of this probably due).

    Also added to the help section is a short piece on some of the difficulties in classifying medieval fortifications with details of the currently used classification schemes as they apply to medieval fortifications. Click here to view.

    I'm doing some work on the the various forms of castle mounds and this may result in something. If you have suggestions for what you would like see added to the site please contact me.

    They tab delimited ASCII files of the databases from which these listing are derived are available in the file sharing part of the web site (Use the Downloads link). Please feel free to download this listing to use for your own studies. Remember the site and the database are being continually being updated so please update your own files as often as you want. The databases were last updated on 15 June 2006.

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