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Landed Gentry & Aristrocacy of Co KildareAn extract from Turtle Bunbury’s book.

In 1965, John and Brownie Mansfield left their home in Mexico and went to live at Barrettstown House in County Kildare in Ireland. They remained there until 1971 when they sailed on their yacht ‘Voyageur’ to Majorca.

Brownie’s son, Tim Mansfield, has some amusing recollections of his time there written in his diary when he was fifteen years old.

Tuesday 9th June 1970

Had a very bad thunderstorm today at 4 p.m., the drawing room was flooded (due to the hole in the Drawing Room ceiling which had never been fixed), the tower was hit six times by lightning. Found Mary the maid under a table shivering in the dark with a fag in her mouth saying her Hail Mary’s. God bless us all.

ceiling640x480Wednesday 12th August 1970

Charles [my brother] leaving for Australia on Friday with one way ticket. Flight booked and all. Bags packed. We had a booze-up in his honour. John [my step-father] got pretty drunk.

They got swords down off the walls in the main hall and had a sword fight which turned almost real and resulted in Charles knocking one of John’s teeth out with the hilt of his sword (he was delighted as he said it was rotten anyway and saves him going to the dentist). Otherwise it was a good night. John gave Charles a Georgian silver cigarette case and Mansfield crested brandy flask also silver.

Barrettstown_SepiaSketch2

The above text is taken from a book written by world-renowned Irish writer & historian Turtle Bunbury.

Turtle’s debut book, Landed Gentry and Aristocracy of Co. Kildare, offers a unique and lively historical insight into eighteen of County Kildare’s most influential “big house” families.

The book features fifty illustrations and covers more than a thousand years of Irish history.

The families profiled are those of Aylmer, Barton, de Burgh, Clements, Conolly, Guinness, Henry, Fennell, FitzGerald, Latten, La Touche, Mansfield, Maunsell, Medlicott, More O’Ferrall, Moore, de Robeck and Wolfe.

The story of these often eccentric dynasties is set against the backdrop of the past – the violent religious wars of the 17th century, the rise of the British Empire in the 18th and the run up to Irish independence in 1921.


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