Wilton House has made it through the Great War
In October 1862, a baby was born in Wilton House, Rathkeale, Co Limerick, who would later go by the name of Sir Launcelot Edward Kiggell, though it's unlikely he was called that as an infant.
Kiggell became chief of staff to Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commander of the British Expeditionary Force in the Great War, between 1915 and 1917.
Some historians tell an unsubstantiated tale of how Kiggell broke down in tears when he visited Passchendaele during the third battle of Ypres. "Good God," he reportedly said, seeing battlefield conditions for the first time. "Did we really send men out to fight in that?"
As a result of the failure of Passchendaele, Kiggell was dismissed. He was later put out to pasture as Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey.
Wilton House had been built in 1820, and was listed in Lewis's 1837 Topographical Dictionary of Ireland as one of the "most remarkable" estates in the locality.
The total floor area is some 4,275 square feet and the property was fully renovated in 2007 – just as well, as it is a protected structure which makes refurbishment an awkward business.
On the upper ground floor is a large entrance hall, a sitting room, dining room, a kitchen with marble floor, and a guest toilet.
On the first floor is a master suite, including a bedroom, living room, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. There are another two bedrooms on this level, one with en-suite shower, and a main bathroom.
At garden or basement level is a living room, utility room, two bedrooms and a shower room. Outside on the 1.4 acres of grounds is a walled orchard populated by apple trees, and a front driveway lined with beech and lime trees. The property is enclosed by seven feet stone walls and approached through electric gates.
De Courcy Estate Agents in Limerick (061 415188) is handling the sale of Wilton House, with an asking price of €395,000.