The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1204 May 27, Thom de Burgo (Thomas de Burgh) was possibly granted, by John, (In year 5 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Leleshay (Lindsey; The Mounts)
Rex etc. justic' {etc.} Sciatis quod dedimus Thom' de Burgo licenciam claudendi domum suam de Leleshay: et ipso vobis mandamus quod eum inde non impediatis.
T.G. filius Petri apud Turrim Lond', xxvij. die Maii. (Hardy)

Granted at Tower of London.

There is insufficient evidence to be certain about this possible licence to crenellate. (Some licences may be lost from record and others may have wrongly presumed to have been granted or may be total inventions.)


The castle came to Thomas Burgh through his wife, Nesta de Cockfield, and the licence may well be about confirming his ownership of the site. The castle was abandoned about 1400 but no building there can be said to date from the early C13 (The castle buildings seem to have been of timber). However, the nearby Chapel of St James, associated with the castle and Nesta, does date from the mid C13.

Strictly speaking this is a licence to enclose his house, not one to crenellate it. The form of the enclosure is not specified. Additionally this was in a close letter, rather than a patent letter.
Witnessed by Geoffrey Fitz Peter

Original source is;

(In fact, the original source given is usually a transcription/translation of what are precious medieval documents not readily availably. It should be noted that these transcription/translations often date to the nineteenth or early twentieth centuries and that unwitting bias of transcribers may affect the translation. Care should also be taken to avoid giving modern meaning to the medieval use of certain stock words and terms. Licentia is best translated as 'freedom to' not 'permission'.)

Significant later sources are;

Thomas de Burgh (d. 1233)
Sir Thomas de Burgh, of Upper Arley, Staffordshire, and Cockfield, Suffolk, brother of Sir Hubert de Burgh (died 1243), Earl of Kent. Thomas de Burgh married Nesta de Cockfield, Sir Thomas de Burgh was a knight, and he died prior to 1233. (Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah) castellan of Norwich (1215–16) (ODNB for Hubert de Burgh)

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

Please do inform Gatehouse if you see any errors, can add information or can otherwise help to improve this resource. Please contact Gatehouse.

Record created by Philip Davis. This record last updated on Sunday, October 4, 2015.