The History Of Castle Leslie

LocationGlaslough, County Monaghan, Republic of Ireland (Google Maps)
Open for VisitorsYes
Owned byThe Leslie Family
Official WebsiteCastle Leslie
Rooms AvailableYes (Stay, Weddings, Events, Filming)

Immersed in rich history, Castle Leslie is the ultimate Irish rural escape. It is one of the most significant Irish Castle Estates that is still in its founding family’s hands.

History

John Leslie, Bishop of Clogher, purchased Castle Leslie from Sir Thomas Ridgeway in 1665. It is still owned and used by the same family. He was the first Leslie to come to Ireland from Scotland after leading the Cromwellian forces to a defeat. The origins of the Leslie (Laszlo) family lie in Hungary, and they had arrived in Scotland to serve Margaret, Queen of Scotland. The Leslie family originated from Hungary and moved to serve the Queen of Scotland, Margaret. After the death of the Bishop, his son John, then 26 years of age, inherited the estate. His brother Charles succeeded him, but he only enjoyed the estate for a few months at seventy-one years of age before he died.

Charles Powell Leslie I, took over Castle Leslie and estate in 1743. He was an extremely practical man who devoted himself to improving the farming methods in the district. Charles died with the Parliament he had fought to maintain in 1800. Charles fought to maintain the Parliament but passed away in the year 1800. He was also one of the few landlords who refused Castlereagh’s bribe of a peerage in the same year to vote in favour of the Act of Union with Britain.

His son Charles II Powell Leslie took over the estate but died shortly before the Great Famine. He used to practice architectural design. He designed the farm buildings and the fairy tale gate lodge, which has a view of the lake and the castle. His widow, Helen, ran Castle Leslie during the time of the famine. She was a remarkable lady who managed to feed all the people on the castle estate. She had a famine wall built around the castle estate to provide work and set up soup kitchens to provide food to the starving. She managed the estate most capably until her son Charles Powell Leslie III came of age.

Charles Powell Leslie III took pleasure in throwing big house parties and wanted to entertain on a grand scale. He never married, but he completed a few successful building projects. He finished the Grain Merchant Store in Glaslough village and the entrance lodges at the main gates to the castle. He passed away in 1871, leaving the new castle building behind for his brother John. John Leslie, who later became Sir John Leslie, 1st Baronet of Glaslough, built the castle that we see today. It has a strong Italian influence, with many pieces from the 16th and 17th centuries collected worldwide.

The castle was passed to Desmond Leslie in 1964 and subsequently to his daughter Samantha Leslie. She understood the size and nature of the estate and the cost of its upkeep. Therefore she decided to bring the estate back to life, gain sustainability through tourism, and work symbiotically with local communities. Her desire was to restore the castle in the style and manner it was built and enable large-scale guest entertainment. From 1995-to 1997, Samantha refurbished fourteen of the castle’s bedrooms and bathrooms. Each room was turned in its own unique style to maintain the individuality and uniqueness of the property.

Over the last two decades, following significant investments and a major restoration program, the fortress has been turned into one of Ireland’s finest luxury hotels.

Architecture

Castle Leslie
Castle Leslie, by Sean MacEntee, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Castle Leslie is nestled on 1,000 acres of the rolling Irish countryside, dotted with ancient woodland and glittering lakes. It is a picture-perfect example of Scottish baronial architecture. It was designed in 1870 for Sir John Leslie, 1st Baronet, MP. It still features a Renaissance-style cloister, an old-world library, and a billiard room. Today, with its authentic interiors and great hospitality, the castle exudes grandeur and offers the visitors complete respite from the world. It is filled with fine-looking furniture, heirlooms, and antiques. It has twenty-one original and uniquely decorated bedrooms and bathrooms.

Castle Leslie Weddings have been very popular since it hosted the wedding of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Castle Leslie Spa- The Victorian Treatment Rooms encompass the mind, body, and spirit, leaving the visitors feeling refreshed, relaxed, and at peace. There are many attractions to see at the castle, from the Equestrian Centre and working farm to the unique flora and fauna and historic sites. They include building ruins, a Gothic Lodge, Walled Garden originating from 1850, St. Salvator’s Church, the Pinetum, and an Integrated Wetlands project.

Movie Features

Castle Ghosts Of Ireland (1996)– The short film features Castle Leslie briefly in its haunted tale of the family locks of Ireland, which are certificates of deadly feuds, like murders.

Most Haunted (2002)– Castle Leslie is also featured in the Horror Reality Show about paranormal investigations conducted in haunted locations, using psychic mediums and scientific equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Castle Leslie?

Castle Leslie, one of the few great Irish Castles still in the hands of its founding family, is located just adjacent to the village of Glaslough, 7 miles northeast of Monaghan town in the county of Monaghan in Ireland.

Who owns Castle Leslie?

The Leslie family has owned and lived in Castle Leslie since 1665, when John Leslie, the fighting Bishop, purchased it. He bought the land for £2000, a reward presented to him by King Charles II.

Have you visited this castle before? If yes, why not share some beautiful pictures with us!
You can email us your pictures of the castle at castrumtocastle@gmail.com. Please use the name of the castle in the subject line.
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