Lord Egerton Castle : At the outskirts of Nakuru town in Ngata area ,there is a magnificent Castle which was build by Maurice Egerton and inspired by love to woo a beautiful woman. His first house was smaller, he built a second house which has four bedrooms. During this time Lord Egerton was courting a beautiful English lady by the name of Victoria and was determined to marry her. The lady refused his marriage proposal claiming that the house he was living in was not of her type and standard. Maurice Egerton begun the construction of the mansion in 1938 to impress the lady and for the second time Victoria refused his proposal, the construction of the mansion was halted by the second world war and the construction was delayed for sixteen years and was completed in 1954. After refusing to marry Mr Egerton, Victoria escaped to England.
Lord Egerton was angered, felt betrayed and was heart-broken he vowed never to engage women in his life . He restricted women into his compound and home, his friends and workers were forced to leave their wives or girlfriends at the gate ,whenever they wanted to see Lord Egerton. Before his Death Lord Egerton wrote in his will that the Agricultural college he had founded was to be made male only institutions, his wishes were granted for several years but the government of Kenya was forced to change it because of the scarcity of education facilities in Kenya. The institution has grown to be one of the prestigious universities in the region, the present day Egerton University. The institution and the surrounding land were named after him. Lord Maurice Egerton lived in the castle for four years, he died in 1958 while aged 83 years. Lord Egerton was attended to by a total of eighty medical personnel and care givers from which majority of them were from Britain. The castle today is a tourist attraction .
Lord Egerton Castle is a magnificent structured house built to show opulence, it is a house made and styled like a fortress. It is located 14 kilometers outside Nakuru town and the attractions in Nakuru. The construction of the house was started in 1938 by Maurice Egerton, 4th Baron Egerton. The castle is built in between a thicket of canopy trees and shrubs . The person who designed the castle was Albert Brown, the construction continued until 1954. The castle was gazetted in April 1996 and declared a Monument under The Antiquities and Monuments Act. The castle which is on 100 acres land is maintained by Egerton University and they opened to the public in 2005.
This house has 52 rooms which includes a dance hall with electric organ, a dark chamber for developing photos, an entrance hall, a master bedrooms, study rooms and a wine cellar. There is also an old telephone of his era which is still in the castle.
Lord Maurice Egerton was born from a royal family of Lords to Lady Anna Louisa Taylor and Alan de Tatton. He was brought up in a well-known family along with his two siblings. One of his brother was born William born in 1868 and his sister Cecile was born in 1871. Unfortunately both died in their childhood leaving Lord Maurice Egerton as the only heir to the vast riches. His early ten years he went to school in Britain and after that he joined British Royal Navy following his father’s footsteps. His father died in 1920 and he automatically inherited the family wealth, by the time he was of 45 years when he inherited the title Lord. He developed interest for photography and hunting ,the two activities that kept the Lord travelling through continents.
Lord Maurice Egerton came to Kenya through Uganda ,with his first country he visited in Africa being Zimbabwe and later Congo and Uganda before entering Kenya in 1920. During the colonial period the British government used to reward former military officers with land as a form of appreciation. Lord Egerton obtained 44 kilometers of land in Nakuru-Njoro region which he managed with help of worker who had different roles. While he was in Kenya , he was inspired by Lord Delamere to start farming. His extending his land by buying more acres of land from Delamere in parts of Rongai, Ngata , Molo and Lake Nakuru to the current Egerton University.
Lord Maurice Egerton according to British traditions was a must for him to marry a girl of a royal family like him, either a queen or a princess. He was 45 years when Lord Egerton courted a princess from Austria ,he went ahead to the extend of building her four roomed cottage just to impress her. When Maurice Egerton invited her to see it, the lady was not pleased and left after a short notice this made Maurice Egerton to built a bigger house.
In 1938 Lord Egerton started the construction of a mansion in Ngata for his princess wife. He looked for the services of English architect Albert Brown, he had labourers of Red Indian ,Kenyans and Italians. The construction was halted when the world war begun in 1945.
He imported construction materials from Britain and Castle designers from Italy. Everything that was used in construction of the castle were imported from abroad, tiles used were from China and the sparkly green marbles for fireplaces from Italy.
The only local materials which were used in the construction of the building were the stones from Kinoo and Njiru. The castle interiors, the walls inside and the stairways were panelled with British Oak. There is also a grand piano , that was made with 411 pipes, a cabinet that covers the height of two floors. A guests lobby with a huge ballroom for entertainment, meetings ,celebrations and rendezvous. Inside the castle there are bathrooms, a photograph room, guest houses, library, kitchen, reading room, a laundry room, a master bedroom, a children’s room, numerous other rooms ,alleys, confinements, barricades, artistic lacunas with other partitions. Despite Lord Egerton trying to do and built all these, to woo a lady she wanted to marry but the lady refused . The lady left to Australia in 1954 and married a filmmaker who later became Lord. Maurice Egerton was heart-broken and he became hostile to women. He pinned notes on trees warning women to stay away from his compound.
Lord Egerton Castle Entrance Charges
|Adults||Ksh 150||Ksh 450||12 USD|
|Tertiary institutions||Kshs 120||Ksh 240||10 USD|
|Secondary school||Ksh 100||Ksh 200||8 USD|
|Primary school||Ksh 75||Ksh 150||6 USD|
|Pre- school||Kshs 50||Ksh 100||4 USD|
It is open daily from 7am to 1pm; 2 pm to 5pm daily
Lord Maurice Egerton lived in Africa for 38 years and he played a crucial role in Kenyan education. He is the founder of Egerton University, which is today one of the biggest public universities in Kenya in the landbĝg to train European settlers. He died in 1958 and was buried in Nakuru town of Kenya.