A story is told, of a man who out of love and lots of passion, went through hell and high water to impress one lady to whom he wished to become engaged. No, there is no happily ever after. The man is left bitterly spurned. Oh the things that love makes us do!
This is the story of Lord Maurice Egerton Tatton, the fourth and last Baron Egerton of Tatton (1874 – 1958).
After our tummies were full, we headed out. About 14 kilometres from Nakuru town, lying on a 100-acre piece of land, stands this magnificent, architectural masterpiece set on expansive, lush lawns.
This grandiose, four-storey castle was built for an Australian woman who Maurice had fallen in love with. Earlier on, Maurice had brought her home to his six-bedroomed house and her reaction was… Well, I will let you decide.
The lady told Egerton that she was of “royalty” back home and that she would never live in the “chicken coop” of a house he had built.
And so, since mwanaume ni effort, the young man embarked on constructing a one-of-a-kind castle that he was dead sure would impress her. That she would have a change of heart. Lord Egerton went all out. I mean, the marble and tiles used to decorate the interior were shipped from Italy and England!
Sadly however, the lass rejected his proposal and actually got married to another man. He was spurned. He banned women from ever setting foot in the 52-room castle and its 100-acre grounds.
“He pinned notices on trees warning that the grounds were out of bounds for women and that any woman who disobeyed the notice risked being shot. When he planned to visit the quarters where his African staff lived, he would issue a two-week notice so that all women could be vacated.”
Nonetheless, the castle is quite fascinating and in one of the rooms, items that were used during lord Egerton’s period are on display… a time capsule of sorts. He was a pioneer aviator, photographer and filmmaker, elements that have been captured conspicuously.
The castle is now property of the Egerton University and is open to the public. Groups use the grounds for weddings and picnics. We also learnt that the university has teamed up with National Museums of Kenya, and are renovating the castle
This marked the end to a great trip and although I missed my bus to Malindi, that was the least of my worries.
My concern however (and still is to-date), was how love is quite the drug, and we are all junkies in one way or another. #FixItJesus!
- Stuck in the city, pack a picnic and head out to this place one of these fine weekends.
- You can read more on Lord Maurice Egerton’s story here.