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Other colourful ancestors include “The Cracked Knight”, who is said to have ridden his horse up the back stairs; “The Big Knight”, who took solace in the whiskey bottle; and “The Knight of the Women”, who was reputed to have fathered at least 15 illegitimate children, but was forgiven because he was a Gaelic scholar (and native speaker) revered by the local people.
But Desmond Fitz Gerald would refer to the “general improvidence” of his ancestors.
In the 1820s “The Knight of the Women” added battlements and false arrow loops, but the third floor remained unfinished — a maze of exposed rafters and bat colonies.
By this time, all that remained of the estate was 500 acres of park and grazing land.
In the Jacobite wars of the 17th century another Knight was told that if he did not surrender, then his six-year-old son (who had been kidnapped and tied to a cannon) would be blown to bits.