The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
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In 1257 Dec 12, Adomar Winton, the king's brother (Aylmer de Lusignan; Aymer Valence) was granted, by Henry III, (In year 42 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate insulam de Portand (Portland [Rufus Castle])
Licence for Aymer, {bishop} elect of Winchester, the king's brother, to strengthen the island of Portand, with stone and lime and to crenellate it like a castle, as he shall think most expedient.
By K. in the presence of Edward his son, Henry son of the king of Almain, William de Valencia, John Maunsell, Hugh Bigod, Philip Lovel, Robert Walerand and others, and Peter de Monte Forti. (CPR)

Adomar Winton. electus possit kernellare ... insulam de ... Portland. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by King.


King writes "to Aylmer de Lusignan, Bishop-elect of Winchester. The terms of this licence are extremely vague; Aylmer was permitted to crenellate the island or make a castle there at his complete discretion. The nature of the problem seems not to have been considered at this stage."

It is generally presumed that Rufus castle is the site of any work that may have resulted from this licence. King' s 'problem' seems to be an assumption the whole island was intended to be fortified.

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;

Lusignan (Valence), Aymer de (c.1228–1260), bishop of Winchester
Lusignan (Valence), Aymer de (c.1228–1260), bishop of Winchester, was one of the younger sons of Hugues (X), count of La Marche, and his wife, Isabella of Angoulême (d. 1246), the widow of King John. Given many favours by his half brother Henry III. Destined for a career in the church. He was a controversal figure, quarrellsome and quick to incite his followers to use violence to 'resolve' disputes. If any individual would need a strong, well defended, retreat it would be Lusignan but the location, on the south coast, is probably of more significance, in this regard, since his real defence, in case of attack, would be to sail to his estates in Poitou. The obtaining of the Portland, by Lusignan, in speculative land markets meant the licence probably had more to do with confirming ownership of the land and reconfirming his position as a royal favourite.

Biographical source include;

More information about licences to crenellate can be found here.

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