Adulterine castle


Adulterine castle
Modern term for castles built without the king's permission. In *LHP building a castle without licence (castellatio sine licentia) placed the builder in misericordia regis = in the king's mercy. During the *anarchy of King Stephen's reign many hundreds of such castles were built. However, these were not the stone-built castles which still stand. Rather they were all hastily thrown up, wooden stockades on earth mounds. One such construct, given the name of castle, was nothing more than a wooden square atop a church tower.

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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