History of the House / 1961 to 1969 - Knowles
In 1961, Earlscliffe was purchased by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Knowles.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Knowles
Andrew Knowles was born in Brailsford in Derbyshire, England on the 17th Feb, 1897.  His parents were Robert Knowles and Hanna Fenton.
Early years - from the First World War
In the first world war, Andrew served with the Royal Scots Greys and reached the rank of Lieutenant.
On leaving the army he became an amateur jockey in England where he rode in the Grand National and got a second place Foxhunters' Chase. He gave up racing after that but was known to ride with the Dove Valley hunt in Derbyshire. 
On April 21st 1924, Andrew married Elizabeth Evelyn Hurt in Belper, Derbyshire, and they had one son, Peter Andrew, on 12 Dec 1927.
In 1934 he moved to Ireland where he rode regularly with a number of hunts. He also rode many point-to-point winners before the second World War, the two best known being Shaun Rhu and Toi Denis, on which he won the Kilmallock Gold Cup. 
Second World War and beyond
In the second world war, Andrew again served with the British Army and lost an eye on the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940.
After the war, he returned to live in Ireland and became a racehorse owner and a member and steward of the National Hunt Committee. 
Andrew was a keen gardener, and In the 1950s, he lived at Reen-na-Furraha (or Reenafura), Sneem, Co.Kerry * with his second wife, Olga. 
Olga Mabel Knowles (née Johnston)
Olga Mabel Johnston was born on the 12th June 1916 in Gloucester, England. Her father was Major Charles Ernest Johnston who had married Olga's mother, Mabel Frances Irene Schultz on the 14th Feb 1909. 
Two years after Olga was born, her father was killed in action in France in the First World War on 23 March 1918. 
Olga's mother, Mabel, went on to marry again in Sept 1922 to Air Commodore Raymond William Ryan. Ryan was a medical doctor who served in the second world war with the RAF, presumably as a medic.
It is not known when Olga married Colonel Andrew Knowles, but we presume that they were married by 12th March 1956 as both Olga and Andrew are listed as passengers on the RMS Hubert docked in Liverpool after a trip round the Caribbean! 
Move to Earlscliffe
Andrew bought Earlscliffe from Margaret Woods on 31st May, 1961 and moved in soon after with his second wife, Olga.
Being a keen gardener, Andrew brought many plants from his previous house in Sneem, Co. Kerry to his new home at Earlscliffe. 
We don't know much more about the Knowles' life at Earlscliffe, however, sadly, Andrew died on the 3rd March 1967 at the age of 70.
Mabel Frances Irene Ryan
Olga Knowles continued to live at Earlscliffe after her husband's death and was joined by her mother, Mabel Frances Irene Ryan. Sadly, Mabel later died on March 27 1968  and is buried in Kilbarrack, Co. Dublin.
After her Mother's death, Olga put Earlscliffe up for sale in May 1969. 
Olga lived until she was 85 and died in July 2001 back in her birth town of Gloucester in the UK. 
(* As an aside, in 1969, eight years after Andrew and Olga moved out of Reenafura in Sneem and into Earlscliffe, French president Charles De Gaulle visited Kerry. He was due to stay at Parknasilla, an old country house on the ring of Kerry that is now a luxury hotel. However, it was felt that he could be best protected under heavy security next door in the secluded Reenafura!) 
List of Earlscliffe Residents
-  Details found on Ancestry.co.uk.
-  Irish Times obituary for Lt.-Col A. Knowles, March 7, 1967, page 6.
-  The house in Sneem is also sometimes spelled Reen-na-Furragha or Reenafura. It is next to Parknasilla, an old country house that is now a luxury Kerry hotel.
-  Details found here: https://www.ancestry.co.uk/family-tree/person/tree/163005862/person/122120759677/facts
-  As discussed in Major Charles Ernest Johnston DSO TD at http://www.stanwardine.com/cgi-bin/malvernww1.pl?id=230
-  UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960
-  Irish Times, March 29, 1968, page 24
-  Notice in the Irish Times dated May 14 1969 states that Earlscliffe was to be auctioned on that day.
-  As discussed in https://parknasillaresort.com/history/historic-guests-parknasilla/ accessed on 4th Oct 2021
This page was last updated on 27-Jul-2023 .