Lionel was born in 1900. He was the son of Sir John Leslie and Lady Leonie Leslie and the youngest of four brothers. An avenue of oak trees was planted to commemorate his birth, as well as the new century.
An incredibly tough child, Lionel's elder brothers used him as a kind of football. He was ‘sent down’ from Eton for being 'unteachable'. He still got into Trinity College in Dublin, where he saved on his heating bills by cutting up the floorboards for fuel. As a young man, Lionel became an avid explorer, especially of Africa, and he wrote several interesting books, such as 'Wilderness Trails'. Later he published several books of verse.
A cheerful character and a great individualist, Lionel took up sculpture and learned to carve in wood and stone. Guests will see his animals and Red Indians throughout the castle. He married Barbara Enever and moved to the Isle of Mull. They had a daughter, Leonie. An acknowledged expert on Loch New and Loch Fadder monsters, he was also appointed 'Arch Druid of the Western Isles'.