What is a Crenellation License?

In order for someone to fortify a building which often included adding crenelllations they had to get a license from the ruler. This ruler could be the king or the ruler within their local jurisdiction. This was common practice in Medieval England for a period of about four hundred years from the 12th to 16th centuries.

There actually is a lot of debate about this licensing practice. Some believe it was a way for the royal crown to limit, control and keep track of militarized castles in dissuasion of a revolt.

Other theories include that the licensing was just another tax. And some believe it was a bit of a status symbol. If you lived in a fortified residence complete with battlements and crenellations it brought more prestige to you.

Some scholors believe that some licenses to crenellate were even forgeries. Interesting to see that people were still people, and have always tried to get around things without paying .

This picture shows crenellations on Aydon Castle .




















































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