Travel Best Kept Secrets

A Glimpse of Downton Abbey Living

Castle Leslie, Highclere Castle &

Edwardian Country Life

My very dear friend, Mark Leslie, a member of the family that owns Castle Leslie in County Monaghan, Ireland, shared with me, so that I can share with you, photos of yesteryear in the Edwardian Era, of family and friends visiting Castle Leslie. These family figures include Mark’s great-aunt, Lady Jennie Jerome Churchill, wife of Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill, mother of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, making Mark Leslie a first cousin, once removed, of Winston and a relative of the Spencer family of which Lady Diana Spencer, later Princess Diana, is a renowned member.

Look closely at the photos below! In this gallery you’ll find photos of Winston Churchill as a child visiting Castle Leslie as well as the young princesses, Elizabeth, destined to become Queen Elizabeth II, and her younger sister, Margaret, later Princess Margaret, loved for her independent spirit and joie de vivre.

You’ll also find photos of Mark Leslie showing travel expert Stephanie Abrams around a variety of exhibits he and his company, Martello, are responsible for creating globally, at centers designed to educate while entertaining the visitor at a variety of attractions. In Ireland, these exhibits include: The Yeats Exhibit at the National Library and Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin; Blackrock Observatory, Cork; Powerscourt House & Gardens, Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow; Birr Castle, Co. Offaly; Maria Edgeworth Centre, Co. Longford; Patrick Kavanagh Centre and Carrickmacross Workhouse in Co. Monaghan; The 1916 Easter Rising Exhibit at the General Post Office in Dublin, Ireland and so many more!

We’ll be back to “fill in the blanks” with captions and explanations as we build out this section of but for now do enjoy the photos herein!

That’s Winston Churchill in the back row on a visit to Castle Leslie, Co. Monaghan, Ireland. He was about 9 years old.
And that’s Highclere Castle in 1913 long before it became identified as Downton Abbey. . .

The Jerome Sister

Here’s Winston Churchill, seated, about age 12, with family at Castle Leslie, County Monaghan, Ireland and below that is the home, mansion, where the Jerome sisters lived in New York City. Lady Jennie Jerome Churchill’s son was Winston.

These two photos below are of particular historic significance. The first photo, taken at Clarence House in London, where the family lived before their father became King, depicts Princess Patricia next to Princess Elizabeth, destined to become Queen Elizabeth II and her younger sister on the right, Princess Margaret, Lady Leonie Jerome Leslie is standing at the right. In the bottom photo, Winston Churchill, six years of age, poses with his favorite American aunt, Lady Leonie Jerome Leslie, grandmother of Mark Leslie of Martello Media fame. Special thanks to Mark Leslie for sharing his family photographic treasures with us!

Visit our pages of photos and commentary at “A Little Bit of Ireland” for more!

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