The Nursery Heritage Room

Before unfortunate children were packed off to horrible boarding schools they were educated at home by governesses and tutors. When Sammy Leslie was a young girl, this room was simply a delightfully sunny nursery with wonderful views of the green lake.

Breakfast would arrive while dogs barked, nannies bustled and jackdaws cawed in the chimney. Only at lunchtime were the children allowed into the sacred precincts of the dining room, where they were always told off for drowning the grownups’ conversations.

Sammy and her sister had a wonderful old rocking horse on which three children could `see-saw’, as well as a dolls house made by Hurst, the Estate carpenter. There were also many priceless Victorian toys in varying states of disrepair – even a real steam engine. Sammy has fond memories of a talking picture book whereby an appropriate animal answered when the string was pulled. There was a large model golf course, with tees and bunkers, which could be set up all around the floor. It was played by tiny mechanical men who could even change their clubs for different shots. Some of the more cuddly toys are still in the Nursery. They’d appreciate a kind word!

From a huge collection of “Meccano”, the kids would construct engineering improbabilities, and when no one was looking, they’d slip out to hold toboggan races down the main stairs on tea trays, vanish into the vast dark attics, climb on the roof or make the old hand-operated lift race down its shaft by cramming as many people as possible into it, and then disconnecting the speed control.

Most scary of all were the children’s attempts to walk around the narrow ledge, above the main staircase, without breaking their necks. Little grubby hand marks can still be seen on the pillars. This was all strictly forbidden, of course.

On wet days the Nursery (also known as the Schoolroom would become the headquarters for games of “Sardines”, in which one person was chosen to hide, and the searchers would join him or her in their place of hiding. Dark cellars, haunted basements, and unlikely spaces between floors were most popular. When Sammy announced her intention to convert the Schoolroom, her father jokingly suggested she turn the dollhouse into a loo. She not only did so; she added a bath and wash basin as well. Monica Liddle is responsible for the brilliant painting and artwork and for the illustrated alphabet on the walls.

A single bell can be seen just outside the room. This was the architect’s bright idea. He realised that the dinner gong would not be heard at this height, and certainly not above the uproar of children. The bell would tinkle a kind welcome for lunch. But it also rang furiously when the noise emanating from the room proved disturbing, or otherwise inconvenienced the adults below. The bell still works today. Jack (now Sir John) kept a pet hen called “Hotwaterbottle” and tried to teach it to fly by launching the unfortunate bird from the window.

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. They are John (the second Sir John), Theodosia, the family beauty, Mary, the family saint, Constance who disapproved of most things, and the little red-haired Olive, who approved of almost everything, and had an endless repertoire of scandals and funny stories.

The next generation to enjoy this sunny room, were Shane, Norman, Seymour and Lionel. Then came Anita, Jack and Desmond. Finally, it belonged to Sean, Mark, Antonia, Sammy and Camilla, and their cousins Tarka and Leonie. Now the room is used to give Castle Leslie a reputation for some of the most luxurious Castle Accommodation Ireland has to offer.

BOOK NOW

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

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),

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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’!

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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’!

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

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.

READ MORE BOOK NOW WATCH VIDEO

MAKE A RESERVATION

Best Rate Guaranteed No Booking Fees