The story of Lord Egerton is a really sad one. Maurice Egerton (4 August 1874 – 30 January 1958) was the fourth Baron Egerton. He was a member of the Egerton family and was the only son of Alan de Tatton Egerton, 3rd Baron Egerton and his wife Lady Anna Louisa.
Maurice was known as an aviation and motor car enthusiast, a friend to the Wright brothers. He served as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve during the First World War after which he was granted some land in Ngata area near Nakuru in Kenya under the Soldier Settlement Scheme.
He later purchased a further 21,000 acres around the same area from Lord Delamere. On this land, he founded a school in 1939 named Egerton Farm School (now Egerton University). The school was meant to prepare white European youth for careers in agriculture.
But the story starts when he build his second house for his bride to be. And on seeing the house she said, you have build a house for chickens. Taking it as a challenge he started building another house, this time bigger and better. Close to the Castles that rested in the Land of the then King George VI.
Lord Egerton Castle as its known now was build from from 1938 to 1954. It’s said that he imported most of the things that he used to build this important castle. The castle has 52 rooms. Among them; dance hall with electric organ, dark chamber for developing photos, entrance hall, master bedrooms, study rooms and a wine cellar.
The story is later told that on seeing it, his bride to be said that was a house for the horse. And so she did not marry him and from that point its said the lord hated women and so he did chicken. Interestingly, the other culprit was the horse, and he went scort free. In those days I am sure he would not be able to farm….which was his passion without a horse. So it’s safe to say his hate was selfish.
So he never allowed Chicken and women in the compound where the stands. Maurice did not marry and on his death in 1958 the barony became extinct. Today the Castle still stands out, with most things vandalised. Its now the property of Egerton University.
I visited the Castle with my wife when we were celebrating our second year anniversary. The gardens are really good for weddings and parties. And yes, women and chickens are now allowed to visit the Castle. The ghost of Egerton has rested.
The inside of the Castle has not been maintained, especially the Bowl room, which if it is kept well can create a really nice experience for those who have never had one. It’s also a pity that the management would allow something and pricy and eunique as the Organ to be vandalized. I wish more can be done on the inside.
I visited the Ethnographic Museum at the University of Addis Ababa, this was Emperor Haile Selassie’s house that he donated to host the university. It’s a wonderful museum and I wish the management of Lord Egerton Castle would do the same.
The lady abandoned the house by calling it “chicken house” then the castle she called it “Horse House”. The Lord died and left it where it stood, its should not be abandoned again, it has had enough of it……and it needs justice.