Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Castle Leslie

THE LESLIE BARONETS, OF GLASLOUGH, WERE MAJOR LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY MONAGHAN, WITH 13,674 ACRES

THE RIGHT REV JOHN LESLIEor LESLEY, Lord Bishop of Clogher, founder of the Glaslough branch of the Leslie family in Ireland, was the son of George Leslie, of Crichie, 2nd son of Walter Leslie, of Wardis, Falconer to JAMES VI.

His lordship was born in northern Scotland, and educated first at Aberdeen and then at Oxford, of which he was Doctor of Divinity.
Of this distinguished divine, there is an interesting account in Sir James Ware's History of Ireland, edited by Harris. He was consecrated, in 1628, Bishop of the Isles in Scotland, whence he was translated to Raphoe in 1633, and thence translated to the see of Clogher, in 1661.

He died at Glaslough in 1671, aged 100 years, all but five weeks, leaving two sons, of whom John the elder, then 26 years of age, succeeded to the estate at his seat at Castle Leslie, otherwise Glaslough, in 1671.
The Bishop's second son and successor, 

THE REV CHARLES LESLIE MA, of Glaslough, County Monaghan, Chancellor of Connor Cathedral, 1686, left a son,

ROBERT LESLIE, of Glaslough, who left male issue,

CHARLES POWELL LESLIE, of Glaslough, MP for County Monaghan.

This gentleman's descendent,

COLONEL CHARLES POWELL LESLIE JP MP, of Glaslough, was High Sheriff of County Monaghan, 1788; MP, 1802-26.

His second son,

JOHN LESLIE JP MP, of Glaslough, was a captain in the Life Guards, MP for County Monaghan, and a noted painter.

He was created a baronet in 1876.
The heir is the present holder's nephew, Shaun Rudolf Christopher Leslie (b 1947).
The heir's heir is his brother, (Christopher) Mark Leslie (b 1952).
The 2nd Baronet was the last Lord-Lieutenant of County Monaghan, from 1921 until 1922.


CASTLE LESLIE, or Glaslough House, is adjacent to Glaslough, County Monaghan.

The castle is fashioned in the Scottish-Baronial style and was designed by Lanyon, Lynn and Lanyon in 1870 for Sir John Leslie, 1st Baronet, MP.

It is situated where an earlier castle stood and never had a defensive purpose.


The house presents a rather dour and austere façade and is sited in such a way so as to mask the gardens to an approaching visitor.

To the rear of the house the gardens are relieved by a Renaissance-style cloister which links the main house to a single storey wing containing the library and billiards-room.

In contrast to the exterior designed by W H Lynn, the interior shows the hands of Lanyon and John Leslie himself through its strong Italian Renaissance feel.

The estate has three lakes: the largest, Glaslough, shares its name with the local village; Kilvey Lake is to the north; and, finally, Dream Lake, which features a crannóg.

The 1,000-acre estate comprises park land, meandering streams and several forests.

The house remains the seat of the Leslies and is run by Samantha (Sammy) Leslie.

Other family members still assert their influence on the running of the estate through a family trust.

The estate is open to paying guests, who can stay in the former Hunting Lodge, the main house itself, the recently constructed traditional-style holiday cottages located in the village or the fully restored and refitted "Old Stable Mews".

While restoration of the house and grounds is ongoing, many new features have been added to the estate, including a spa, a bar and restaurant, and a cookery school.

A new pavilion, adjacent to the long gallery of the main house, facilitates conferences, weddings and other large events.

Work on restoring the walled garden is also continuing, though for now they remain overgrown and locked.

2004 saw the return to the estate of the Equestrian Centre and Hunting Lodge which had been sold out of the family twenty years previously.

The estate now features miles of new horse trails and jumps, a state-of-the-art indoor horse arena and new stabling.

Walkers are also catered for with many trails upgraded and clearly signposted, a new estate map being available from the Hunting lodge.

2005 saw five new sub-ground floor bedrooms being added to the castle, the Desmond Leslie room, the Agnes Bernelle Room, the Helen Strong Room, Sir Jack's Room and the only room in the castle not named after a family member, The Calm Room.

Castle Leslie hit the headlines in 2002 when Sir Paul McCartney married Heather Mills in the family church located on the estate.

In 2008, the castle was the venue of the launch of RAPID IRELAND (Rescue and Preparedness in Disasters, Ireland), a sister rescue charity to RAPID UK.

The event was hosted by Sir Jack and the Lord Oranmore and Browne, and attended by a number of ambassadors and dignitaries, including HRH The Duke of Gloucester.

Throughout the years many famous faces have frequented the house, including the poet WB Yeats, Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Patrick Moore and the several members of the Churchill family (to whom the Leslies are related). 

The Leslie Papers are deposited at PRONI.

First published in April, 2012.

1 comment :

Myles Campbell said...

The Leslie Papers were catalogued by PRONI but are in fact held in the Manuscripts Department at the National Library of Ireland.