The Governess Room

The Governess Room was ‘home’ to governesses, tutors, nannies and other such tiresome people, hired down through the years in an attempt to keep the children in check. The present Sir John (Jack Leslie) also kept pet owls and bats in the room, as well as a fat white hen called, "Hotwaterbottle." He tried to teach her the rudiments of flight by launching the unfortunate bird out of the window. She would flutter down 20 meters, squawking her head off, and land in a pile of straw. The bats and owls came in useful for scaring cross governesses.

Little fingerprints can still be seen on the wall at the top of the great staircase, where Leslie children used to try to walk around the narrow ledge without falling off and killing themselves. Country life for kiddies was just one big adventure!

Other joys which governesses were hired to prevent included toboggan races, on tea trays, down the staircase as well as climbing up the church tower to ring the great bell. Walking on the roof and crawling through the many attics and tunnels without getting stuck was also frowned upon.

Lionel's cousin, sadly, died in Paris and was buried in the Pere Lachasse cemetery, next to the tomb of Oscar Wilde. His mother was so horrified that she had him reinterred at a respectable distance. Someone must have lost or muddled her instructions because today his grave is marked only by the epitaph "Here lies another drunken Englishman."

The first bath in Ireland, also the largest, used to be in this room. Several children could be bathed at once in its vast depths. Some years ago, the bath was relocated to the Red Room, while the other room that was originally in the suite was incorporated into the Eagle’s Nest – now an intimate, spacious room for couple’s on a romantic break at one of the finest luxury hotels in Ireland. Castle Leslie Estate offers more than a hotel experience, it is a rural retreat.

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