The Blue Master Room

The Blue Room acquired its marvellous deep blue colour from Lady Leonie Leslie, before she later moved into the Mauve Room. Subsequently it was transformed to an ‘Odeon cinema’ style TV room, with suitably hideous colours and plastic seats, for Sammy Leslie and her little sister, Camilla. Upon it’s restoration as a guest room, Sammy faithfully reinstated and replicated the blue colour in the bedroom and also the bathroom, which was once a dressing room. The Blue Room boasts panoramic views of the gardens and Glaslough lake.

The walls in the Blue Room are adorned by sketches and paintings and there are panoramic views of the beautiful lake and landscaped gardens. The Lady in White is a fine pastel portrait of the lovely American aunt to the Leslie children, Anne Cockran, as is the smaller sketch beside it. Her sister Lady Marjorie Leslie appears in the second sketch, and in the small oil painting. The larger oil is of Lady Mary Crawshay, and was painted by her father, Sir John Leslie, 1st Bt. The older lady is Mrs. Henry Clay Ide, who died at a young age, leaving three daughters, Adelaide, Anne and little Marjorie.

Their father was Henry Clay Ide, Chief Justice of Samoa, where the Ides and the acclaimed author Robert Louis Stevenson, were the only white people living on the paradise island which inspired Stevenson’s famous Treasure Island. When not busy writing, Stevenson improvised stories for the Ide children and even legally gifted his birthday, 13 November, to Anne, who had suffered the great misfortune of having been born on Christmas day and thus been denied the ‘consolation and profit of a proper birthday!’

Marjorie often said that once you’ve lived among the kind happy Polynesian Samoans, whose language contained no word for `sin’, you were spoiled forever living among the white race again. Samoa was, until white men spoiled it, a true Garden of Eden where the idea of wrong or evil did not exist. All went well until missionaries arrived, forced the natives to wear clothes, read pious books and introduced them to guilt.

The Ide sisters had many adventures and survived countless earthquakes (24 on one terrifying Christmas day), tropical typhoons, and even volcanic eruptions. They sailed through boiling seas in the aftermath of mighty eruptions on the Samoan island of Savai’i, narrowly escaped a 600-foot tidal wave that followed the disaster.

Marjorie dearly loved animals, and was involved in the formation of the Philippine Islands Society for the Protection of Animals. But she had a fatal attraction for wild animals. She joked that whenever a tiger escaped from a zoo, it would inevitably find its way to her. In Singapore she spent a night, unknowingly, with a man-eating tiger who’d taken refuge under the billiards table in Raffles Hotel.

The Ides left Samoa, regretfully, when Mr. Ide was appointed Presidential Commissioner and later Governor General of the Philippines, then under American rule, in the early 1900s. They had their diplomatic residence at the Malacanan Palace in Manila.

From Manila, Marjorie and Anne paid a state visit to the old Empress Dowager of China in Peking, as ladies-in-waiting to Alice Roosevelt who was officially representing the United States. Their visit took place at a time when no Europeans were allowed into `The Forbidden City’, and the Empress generously presented each with a jade bracelet and ring.

Anne and Marjorie were great friends of Alice, the daughter of President `Teddy’ Roosevelt, who shocked Washington with her outlandish pranks. When Congress complained, the President replied, “I can run the United States of America, or I can run my daughter. I cannot run both!”

From the Philippines, Mr. Ide was relocated to Madrid to become US Ambassador to Spain in 1909. By this time, daughter Anne had already married Senator William Bourke Cockran. Churchill credited Cockran as his first political mentor and the chief role model for his own success as an orator, teaching Winston Churchill the art of public speaking. Marjorie accompanied her father to the Madrid embassy and assumed the role as his official hostess.

She found the rigidity of Spanish court life under King Alfonso XIII very dull. There was nothing for a young woman to do but visit Madrid’s incomparable Prado and other museums, chaperoned by a strict “duenna”. This gave her an eye for genuine articles. She bought a number of fine pieces including the elaborately carved chest standing by the piano in the Drawing Room. She and Queen Ena were the only tall blonde ladies being chauffeured around Madrid. They had identical limousines with armorial bearings on the doors, so Marjorie was obliged to acknowledge graciously the many sweeping bows and curtseys from passing `grandees’ or terrible offence would have been taken against the poor Queen. It was certainly a different experience than running a Castle hotel in Ireland!

Marjorie ran Castle Leslie Estate, one of the foremost hotels in Monaghan, all through the second World War. She found it very dull that the nearest she could get to the action was through her bedside radio. Not immune to the family writing bug, she did find the time to compose her memoirs, Girlhood in the Pacific in the early 1940s, recalling the exciting adventures of her childhood and young adult life, dedicating the book to her dear son Jack, at the time held captive in a German POW camp. She continued to run the Estate until her death in 1951. She is buried in the little garden cemetery she built on the Castle hotel grounds, just outside the main walls of St. Salvator’s.

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Amenities

Handmade Soap Company Bathroom amenities
Turn Down Service
Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
Iron/Ironing Board
Hairdryer
Castle Leslie Estate Bathrobes and Slippers
Castle Leslie Estate Bottled Still Water
Complimentary WiFi
Telephone
Suitepad

More Castle Rooms

The Mauve Master Room

The Mauve Room and its adjoining dressing room came to be known as The Royal Suite, having provided sweet slumber and other delights to numerous royalty, such as Queen Margaret of Sweden, The Duke and Duchess of Connaught (Queen Victoria's favourite son, and also Desmond Leslie’s godfather),

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Desmond's Master Room

Desmond, as well as his stories, was always charming and larger than life. He stumbled his way through his education and finally ended up in Trinity College, Dublin. He later joined the Royal Air Force where he confessed to doing ‘very little indeed, bar drink tea and smoke cigarettes’!

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The Red Master Room

The Red Room has been at the centre of family life at Castle Leslie Estate for centuries - a doorway in and out of this life, so to speak. Anita Leslie King gave birth to her daughter Leonie in this room.

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The Eagle's Nest Master Room

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.

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Shane's Heritage Room

Shane (born John) was the eldest of the four Leslie sons of Sir John Leslie, 2nd Bt., and Leonie Jerome. In this room, inspired by views of the lake, and many years before his grand-daughter Sammy designed and installed the great gothic bath, Shane wrote many of his best books and poems. The scenery which so inspired him has now resulted in Castle Leslie becoming one of the most popular hotels in Monaghan.

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Chinese Heritage Room

Formerly the 'second best guest room', the Chinese Room overlooks the front of Castle Leslie. The splendid views of the landscape make it clear why the estate is a popular choice among hotels in Monaghan. This room was often reserved for distinguished male guests, but was also a welcome refuge for sculptor Clare Sheridan, whose bust of Shane Leslie can be found on the top floor Nursery landing.

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Green Heritage Room

With its wide bay windows which showcase some of the best and most spectacular views of the Estate, looking onto the garden and Glaslough lake, the Green Room is a particularly friendly room that still boasts its original Victorian handmade wallpaper. It is a bright sunlit romantic room draped in green with its own private bathroom situated next door to the bedroom.

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Papa Jack's Heritage Room

This used to be known as the Pink Room due to the colour it was painted. It's a cosy room in winter and was often used by Sir John Betjeman, the Poet Laureate, whenever he visited the Castle. It has marvellous views of the front of the Castle and outdoor landscape.

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The Nursery Heritage Room

This bright and cheery room has been the happy headquarters for three generations of Castle Leslie children. The first Leslie children to use the Schoolroom can be seen today as the little carved heads over the pink stone arches of the entrance porch.

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Seymour's Heritage Room

The third of Sir John and Leonie Leslie's four sons, Seymour loved chinoiserie and the very latest inventions. The most social and romantic of the brothers, he suffered crippling tuberculosis as a child and spent his youth lying on his back.

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Anita's Heritage Room

Guests will find Anita's pastel portrait hanging on the main stairs. Anita’s Room offers stunning views of the magnificent trees to the front of Castle Leslie Estate that can be seen from the window. This stunning scenery demonstrates why the estate is one of the foremost Monaghan hotels.

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Sir John's Heritage Room

Sir John Norman Ide Leslie, 4th Bt. of Castle Leslie, Glaslough (1916-2016), affectionately known as ‘Uncle Jack’ by his family, was born in New York on 6 December 1916. He was the son of Sir John Randolph Shane Leslie, 3rd Bt., and Marjorie Ide, daughter of the American diplomat Henry Clay Ide, of Vermont, USA.  He was a first cousin once removed of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill as his paternal grandmother, Leonie Jerome, and Churchill's mother, Lady Randolph Churchill (born Jennie Jerome), were sisters - the daughters of American financier Leonard Jerome.

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The Governess Heritage Room

The Governess Room, with beautiful views of Glaslough lake, was ‘home’ to governesses, tutors, nannies and other such characters hired down through the years in an attempt to keep the children in check.

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Heritage Room of Calm

Once the main housekeepers sitting room, the Room of Calm has invariably been used as an oasis of peace and welcome reprieve from the daily demands of the Castle. It also provides the perfect couple's destination, and has gained Castle Leslie a reputation as one of the most romantic hotels Ireland has to offer.

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Norman's Heritage Room

Norman's room is quaint with picturesque views of the gardens and lake. The bed dates to 1617 and once belonged to Clara Frewen, one of the Jerome sisters, from her home Brede Place in Sussex, lovingly restored by her in the late 1800s. Built in 1350, Brede Place once belonged to Sir Goddard Oxenbridge, a judge and court guard for King Henry VII. These luxurious settings make the room one of the best destinations for spa breaks Ireland has to offer.

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Aggie's Heritage Room

Agnes Bernelle (Agi to her friends) was Desmond Leslie's first wife. She was also a wartime secret agent, cabaret legend, actress, and Ireland's oldest punk. TBorn in Weimar Berlin, Agnes and brought up in a privileged theatrical milieu. Her father was Rudolf Bernauer, a Jewish Hungarian theatre impresario and satirical songwriter. Agnes' family fled to London in 1936 prior to the outbreak of World War II.

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The Print Heritage Room

This used to be known as the Pink Room due to the colour it was painted. It's a cosy room in winter and was often used by Sir John Betjeman, the Poet Laureate, whenever he visited the Castle. It has marvellous views of the front of the Castle and outdoor landscape.

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Strong Heritage Room

Helen Leslie (née Strong) mother to Sammy and Camilla Leslie, was brought up in the tiny village of Wilviliscombe, Somerset. She was a primary school teacher for a short time before heading off to Gibraltar where she made a living 'procuring' whiskey and 'kindly delivering' it across the Spanish border. Later, on a skiing holiday in Kitzbuhl, Austria she laid eyes on the devastatingly handsome and 'dangerous' Desmond Leslie. Helen was advised by a mutual friend to steer clear of Desmond, because he already had a ‘100 volt wife and an exotic mistress – so you’re allowed just to look’!

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Lionel's Heritage Room

Lionel Leslie was the youngest of four brothers, Shane Seymour, Norman and Lionel, sons of Sir John, 2nd Bt. and his wife Lady Leonie Leslie. Born in 1900, an avenue of oak trees was planted to commemorate his birth as well as the new century. Indeed, amazing views of the extensive trees to the front of the Castle can be seen from the window.

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