Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Just outside town is Castle Leslie is one of Ireland’s five haunted castles, which dates back to 1633. Charles Powell Leslie decided to help his brother-in-law, Lord Mornington, educate his son Arthur who later, as the Duke of Wellington, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Sir John Leslie, the 2nd Baronet was the only son out of five children. He married Leonie Jerome whose elder sister Jenny married Lord Randolph Churchill the father of Winston Churchill. There are many Churchill 'hand me downs' in the Castle as the Leslies were considered the poor relations.
In its prime, the estate was massive incorporating the town and all of the land for miles around, encompassed within a 10-foot stone wall. Today, much of the estate has been sold off but the castle, its gatehouse, an ancient church, and the immediate grounds (still huge) remain. Although peppered with antiques and priceless fine art, Castle Leslie has the look of a family that has fallen on hard times. It is occupied by 84 year old Sir John (Jack) Leslie, an odd but utterly charming fellow.
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