Guide to Leslie Castle: Part 2 Ground Floor

Home of Baron and Baroness of Leslie and their family

PLEASE BE CAREFUL WHEN INSIDE THE CASTLE AS THERE ARE LOW DOOR LINTELS AND STEPS IN ODD PLACES

On immediately entering the Castle door you will notice the barring slot for securing the main entrance when the building was under attack and behind the door can be seen the other side of the barring slot and the hinge pins for the heavy metal yett which would have swung in behind the wooden door to provide additional security.

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The first stone vaulted room on the right would have originally been a store room and forms the main kitchen for the Castle.  The stone vaulting evolved over a number of centuries as a method of preventing the spread of fire up through the building should and enemy succeed in approaching the walls and by means of the slits manage to push burning material through.  As the store at ground level or basement as they were called contained many flammable items a large fire would be easy to start and without the stone vaulting would spread quickly upwards through the rest of the Castle.  Out of the need to prevent spread of flame came great strength and increased the building’s chances of survival.

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The next room on the right was the original kitchen. As a result of the quality of the groin vaulted ceiling it was decided to retain the kitchen as a breakfast room and not spoil it by returning it to its original use. The large fireplace was required to provide food and hot water for the 40-60 people who would have occupied the Castle.  To the left of the fire opening is located the water spout down which water was poured from the outside into a stone water cistern or sink, ready for use by the kitchen staff.  On the opposite side of the fire in the corner can be seen the opening for the waste water shoot from which the waste water was discharged to the outside.

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Inside the fire on the right is a slit window to give some light to those cooking food and on the left at a higher level is the salt shelf on which jars of salt would be placed to keep them dry by the heat of the fire.

The door immediately opposite the entrance hall was the original wine cellar and the servants would have taken the food from the kitchen, wine from the cellar, climbed the narrow stair to reach the Baronial Hall to serve the food and drink.  The cellar has been divided up to form toilets and a cloakroom.  The room at the end of the short passage opposite the original kitchen would have been another storage room and is now used as a utility room.

 

Text prepared for the 1995 Leslie Clan Gathering by David C. Leslie, then Baron of Leslie.

1 thought on “Guide to Leslie Castle: Part 2 Ground Floor

  1. Thank-you for sharing this very interesting information. Cheers from James Leslie. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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