The comprehensive gazetteer and bibliography of the medieval castles, fortifications and palaces of England, Wales, the Islands.
The listings
Other Info
Print Page 
Next Record 
Previous Record 
Back to list 
In 1389 May 6, Abbas et Conventus Abbatiae de Thornton (Abbot Thomas Gresham) were granted, by Richard II, (In year 12 of his reign) a Royal licence to crenellate Abbatiae de Thornton (Thornton Abbey)
Licence for the abbot and convent of Thornton to crenellate their abbey. By p.s. (CPR)

Abbas et Conventus Abbatiae de Thornton ... abbatiam ... Thornton, {Lincoln}. (Turner and Parker)

Granted at Westminster. Grant by privy seal.


Said to be a repeat of the 1382 licence, but possibly for new work at the abbey rather than a repeat. If so then the question is what was the reason that the previous licence did not cover the new work. The suspicion must be that the abbot and abbey must have been in need of some royal favour because of something Gresham was doing and this repeat licence had much more to do with that than any building work.

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;

Abbot Thomas Gresham
Abbot Thomas Gresham (sat 1364-94) 'a man of very evil life' (Cott. MS. Vesp. D. i, 40-7 sourced from VCH) Pages relating to him in a 16th century history of the abbey were torn out 200 years later – a scribbled note saying it “was to protect the abbey’s reputation”.

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.