Ridelesford, Walter de (d. 1200?), Cambro-Norman baron of lands surrounding Castledermot, Co. Kildare, and holder of a speculative grant of lands within the royal demesne south of Dublin.
Whilst the ultimate origin of the family name would seem to be Flemish (de Ruddervoorde), Walter de Ridelesford was probably based in Wales immediately prior to Richard de Clare's (qv) ('Richard fitz Gilbert', 'Strongbow') expedition to Ireland in 1169. Given the fact that de Ridelesford is noted as one of the barons convened by de Clare during the siege of Dublin in 1171 he may have been a relatively senior figure within the latter's retinue, although not senior enough to have commanded any of the three contingents of the defending forces.
In the aftermath of Henry II's (qv) visit to Ireland, de Ridelesford was granted twenty 'fiefs' of land in Kildare centred around Castledermot. He formed part of the retinue assembled by de Clare to assist Henry II during the Great Revolt of 1173–4, and formed part of the garrison defending the strategically important castle of Gisors in Normandy.
With de Clare promoted to justiciar of Ireland in the later stages of the Great Revolt, de Ridelesford was granted largely speculative lands in modern south Co. Dublin and north Wicklow, described as Brien and the land of the sons of Turchil (Price 1954, 72). The lands do not seem to have been developed under de Ridelesford, although the modern area of Ballyman may have been granted to the Knights Templar during the same period that a relation of the family, Gerald de Ridefort, rose to become head of the order.
De Ridelesford married Amabilis, sister of Meiler fitz Henry (qv), another senior figure in the expedition to Ireland. They possibly had five children: Walter (II), Haket, Basilia, Sonanda and Elena. Walter seems to have founded the nunnery of Graney, near Castledermot, c. 1200 and was responsible for frankalmoign or free alms grants to both St Thomas's Abbey and St Mary's Abbey, Dublin.
Walter II fitz Walter de Ridelesford (d. 1240?), Hiberno-Norman baron of lands surrounding Castledermot, Co. Kildare, and baron of Bray (Co. Dublin). Walter II was probably in his majority when his father Walter de Ridelesford died (c. 1200), although his application for a recognition of his lands and a writ of bounds with his neighbours was refused as King John (qv) 'suspected his charter' (St John Brooks 1951, 130) . His grant of three churches (c. 1200–07) in the modern Bray area represents the earliest attempt to develop the manor of Bray. He would seem to have developed close links with Eustace de Rupe and Richard de Cogan, both of whom married his sisters, and who feature in several of his charters.
Walter II granted a burgage in the vill of Bray to both St Mary's and St Thomas's Abbey, probably around 1225.
He is mentioned as siding with King John against Richard Marshal (qv), earl of Pembroke, and was present on 1 April 1234 at the Battle of the Curragh, Co. Kildare, when Marshal, was defeated and captured. In 1237 Walter II was named as a member of the feudal host assembled under Maurice FitzGerald (qv) (1194–1257) to secure the submission of Connaught.
Walter II married an Amicia, and they seem to have had two daughters, Emeline and Margaret. He also probably had one son, William, who is mentioned in one charter but possibly predeceased his father. Walter II and his wife seem to have been the founders of a priory of Crutched Friars in Castledermot prior to c. 1230.