- Walter Espec
Walter Espec (died 1153) was a prominent military and judicial figure of the reign of
Henry I of England. In the years up to 1120 he with Eustace Fitz Johncontrolled northern England [Paul Dalton, "Conquest, Anarchy and Lordship: Yorkshire, 1066-1154" (2002), p. 105.] .
He was the builder of
Helmsley Castle; he built also Wark Castle [ [http://www.coldstream-scotland.co.uk/history_wark_castle.html Wark Castle ] ] . As an old man, he fought against the Scots at the Battle of the Standardin 1138 [ Frank Barlow, "The Feudal Kingdom of England 1042-1216", (4th edition), p. 211.] .
He was the founder of
Kirkham Priory( Augustinians) and later Rievaulx Abbey( Cistercians) [ [http://cistercians.shef.ac.uk/people/walter-espec.php People ] ] .
Kirkham Priory was founded around 1130 [ [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=36266 Houses of Austin canons - Priory of Kirkham | British History Online ] ] . He then donated convert|1000|acre|km2 to Rievaulx, where building started in 1132, and is largely credited for the arrival of the Cistercians in England [ [http://www.faculty.de.gcsu.edu/~dvess/ids/medieval/rie/rievaulx.shtml Rievaulx- A Virtual Tour ] ] . By 1135 he also founded
Warden Abbey[ [http://www.bedfordshire.gov.uk/CommunityAndLiving/ArchivesAndRecordOffice/CommunityArchives/OldWarden/WardenAbbey.aspx Bedfordshire County Council: Warden Abbey ] ] (Wardon) in Bedfordshire, a daughter house of Rievaulx.
His father was William Speche, a follower of
William I of England[ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/pda/A2350027?s_id=11 H2G2 ] ] .
*"Concise Dictionary of National Biography"
* [http://www.timetravel-britain.com/articles/churches/abbeys.shtml "Four Great Abbeys and Priories of Yorkshire"]
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