Anita's Room

Guests will find Anita's pastel portrait hanging on the main stairs. The eldest child of Sir Shane and Marjorie Leslie, Anita became a famed biographer, just like her father. Her books are delightfully readable, perhaps because she wrote them while enjoying a simple diet of smoked salmon and champagne.

Anita joined the Motor Transport Corps when the war started in 1939 and drove ambulances throughout the African, Italian and French campaigns. She rescued wounded French soldiers from behind enemy lines and brought home French prisoners from the terrible underground Nordhausen concentration camp, where they had been building V1 and V2 rockets. At the end of the war, General de Gaulle awarded her two Croix de Guerre for her courage. She also smuggled herself in the boot of General Alexander's car, so that she could illegally attend the Potsdam Conference between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin.

After the war, she took over Castle Leslie Estate from her brother, Jack. She also bought and restored Oranmore Castle, a 15th century ruin in Galway. In 1963, she passed Castle Leslie Estate over to her brother, Desmond.

When she died in 1985, she was buried under the great trees on the far side of the lake. As her coffin was lowered, she sent a 100mph whirlwind across the lake to signal her safe arrival on that 'other shore'.

Anita's Room is home to a Pennsylvania Dutch sideboard, which is adorned with the self portraits and very biblical names of the Honeybourne family. The adjoining psychedelic bathroom was painted in 1970 by some visiting hippies who thought Castle Leslie Estate was a 'cool scene'.

Book your stay