The Eagle's Nest
As the name suggests, this room is at one of the highest points of the house and has a wonderful balcony with sweeping views of the beautiful lake and gardens. When The Leslie children's aunt, Anne Cockran bought an enormous garden umbrella, they decided to use it as a parachute. Anita, Jack and Desmond were ready to launch themselves from the high balcony but were prevented in the nick of time.
In his childhood, Jack (Sir John Leslie, 4th Bt.) kept a pet hen here that he tried to teach to fly by launching the unfortunate bird from the window. Thoughtfully he provided a pile of straw for crash landings. He also kept pet bats and an owl, which terrified the maids and proved useful for scaring off cross governesses.
At one point, The Eagle’s Nest and Governess Room were allocated to young Lionel Leslie and his cousin Pat Guthrie. In an effort to cheer themselves up on wet days, they would take turns to fire a heavy calibre six shooter revolver at each other through the closed connecting door. One would fire and try to catch the semi-spent bullet as it emerged from the woodwork. Had the aim been misjudged and had a bullet gone through a thin door panel instead of through the thick frame, it is possible that one of them would have been killed. All in the name of good clean fun!
Sadly, these historic bullet holes disappeared when the suite was redecorated. But the hole made by a high velocity 50 game rifle could still just be seen in the centre of the boat house door for many years. For Desmond's first attempt, from 600 meters across the lake, it was a pretty good shot. But he had a bruised shoulder for weeks afterwards.
Today, the Eagle’s Nest is a spacious and intimate room – the perfect spot for couple’s on a romantic getaway in Ireland at one of the finest luxury hotels in Ireland.