Looking for somewhere to stay in Monaghan then few places compare to the stunning Castle Leslie in the idyllic town of Glaslough. The story of the illustrious Leslie family, owners of the beautiful Glaslough Estate, goes back a thousand years to when a young Hungarian nobleman called Bartholomew Leslie was chamberlain to Margaret, Queen of Scotland. One day, as they crossed a swollen river on horseback, the Queen’s horse stumbled. “Will my buckle hold?” the terrified Queen cried. ‘Grip fast’, Bartholomew shouted and so she did. From that time the dynasty Bartholomew founded (he had the good sense to marry the Queen’s sister) had three buckles on their coat of arms.
Now move forward to the 1600s and John Leslie, known as ‘the fighting bishop’, buys the land around beautiful Glaslough, extending the castle and building St Salvator’s Church. Over many generations, the colourful Leslie clan throw up several famous diplomats, writers and soldiers.
Monaghan is home to one of the greatest poets and I’d the pleasure of visiting the newly opened Patrick Kavanagh Centre in Inniskeen last year. I learned the story of Inniskeen’s most famous son, Patrick Kavanagh, in a new and exciting way using immersive and interactive techniques to engage and inspire visitors. A number of key zones in the exhibition focus on different times and aspects of Kavanagh’s life, whilst an accompanying audio-visual experience featuring performed readings of Kavanagh’s poetry (including some by Kavanagh himself) provides an emotive core to the exhibition that is hoped will resonate with visitors long after they’ve left Inniskeen.
The Centre also functions as a dynamic performance space for a variety of special events. Very few writers have rooted their work so physically in recognisable fields and buildings as Kavanagh did and many of these places can still be visited today. Visitors are encouraged to get outdoors and explore either on foot or bike those places in the immediate area that so inspired Kavanagh’s works.
Advance booking is advised.
Open Monday-Friday 10am-4.30pm / Saturdays and Bank Holidays 11am-4:30pm
To see more about what to do in Monaghan see https://monaghantourism.com/