Nearing the end of the Garden Restoration Project

Mid- March, and we’re on target and on budget with the Rothe House Garden Restoration Project. The Main Contractors, Tallis & Company, have finished building new walls to plug the gaps between the existing walls.  Mech & Elec service ducts have been laid, and the contractors have laid the topsoil. The layout of the garden paths and beds is completed and the oak and bay trees are planted. The vine arbour is in place, made of oak from Inistiogue, and wooden seats, kindly sponsored by donors, are in place. Sponsorship is still open for seats, trees, plants and cobbles. Wet weather has delayed the planting of the orchard in the upper garden, but the top part is finished and the rest is just awaiting a bit more drying-out. A design for presenting the Cistercian well, in the centre of the garden is being considered by the Trust at present. This will be expensive. However, the well dates from the occupation of the property by the monks from Graignamanagh in the 14th century, so it is worth doing “well.” The Opening Ceremony will be  on April 11th, and will be performed by the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese. After that the garden will be open to the public and will form part of the tour for visitors to the House.

This project has been funded by Failte Ireland, under the 2000-2006 NDP, Kilkenny Borough Council and Kilkenny Civic Trust.

Update on Rothe House Garden

For those of you who aren’t aware, Rothe House is in the process of reconstructing the 17th century garden laid out by John Rothe, builder of the house itself. The garden stretched from the back of the third house all the way to the City Walls, and was in three parts: a vegetable garden, a formal garden and a large orchard. John and his wife Rose would have used the garden as a source of food, but also as a pleasure garden – somewhere to walk and take exercise, or to relax and entertain guests.

The garden will be open to the public from the end of October.

A very successful archaeological dig was carried out prior to Easter, by local company Kilkenny Archaeology. Many very interesting finds were discovered, but very importantly evidence of the original planting beds of the early 17th century was found. This means that our Design Team can use this information when they design the garden.

At the moment, the existing walls on the plot are being restored and rebuilt, and in a few weeks time contractors will be on site building new walls to plug the gaps.

Later in the summer, the landscapers will move in so that the garden will be ready for opening in late autumn.

This very ambitious project is being supported by Failte Ireland, Kilkenny Borough Council and Kilkenny Civic Trust. The garden committee comprises representatives from Kilkenny County Council, the OPW and the Department of the Environment, Local Government and Heritage.

Keep watching this space as I’ll be reporting on progress over the summer.