Minister opens House 3

Mary White TD, Minister for Equality, Integration and Human Rights, opened House 3, representing the completion of Phase one of the Renaissance Project, and launched Phase Two which starts in January.

The Minister was given a guided tour of the House by Joe Ledwidge, Project Manager, and was very impressed at the standard of work which has taken place. She congratulated the Society and the Trust for the work which has been done to date, and wished them very well in the ongoing project.

Mayor Martin Brett, Councillor Catherine Connery (Cathaoirleach of the County Council) and Ciarán Tuite of Failte Ireland also spoke at the opening.  Those present were welcomed by Miss Bernadette Dermody, President of Kilkenny Archaeological Society, and by Mr. David Culliton, Chairman, Rothe House Trust Limited. Official Opening, Third House

Culture Night at Rothe House & Garden

Rothe House & Garden is participating in the first ever Culture Night to be held in Kilkenny.  In partnership with Tynan Tours, Kilkenny Borough Council and St. Canice’s Cathedral, we are hosting part of a City Cultural Walk.  Pat Tynan will guide a group through the streets of Kilkenny, stopping off at City Hall to inspect the City Charters, Rothe House to see how people lived in the 17th century and St. Canice’s Cathedral.  The walk starts at 6.00 pm at the Parade Kiosk, and is free of charge.

Children’s Art Competition – Shakespeare in the House

In conjunction with the Shakespeare in the House Festival, a children’s Art Competition has been launched, open to children of all ages.  There are three categories:

1)  Ages 4-7 yr old.  Download ‘Brendan from the Secret of Kells’, colour it in and send it back to ‘Shakespeare in the House’, Rothe House, Parliament Street, Kilkenny by Friday 4th June.  Entries must be on an A4 size sheet of paper, and have your name, age and contact details printed on the back.

2) Ages 8-12 yr old. Download ‘Brendan from the Secret of Kells’, colour it in and send it back to ‘Shakespeare in the House’, Rothe House, Parliament Street, Kilkenny by Friday 4th June.  Alternatively, children in this category can free draw a character from one of Shakespeare’s Plays, and send it in.  Entries must be on an A4 size sheet of paper, and have your name, age and contact details printed on the back.

3) Ages 13-18 yrs old.  Free draw a character from one of Shakespeare’s Plays, and send it in.  Entries must be on an A4 size sheet of paper, and have your name, age and contact details printed on the back. Send it back to ‘Shakespeare in the House’, Rothe House, Parliament Street, Kilkenny by Friday 4th June.

First prize winner only: 

1) A copy of the ‘Secret of Kells’ DVD and an annual family ticket to Rothe House Garden.

2) One year’s tuition at Dreamstuff Youth Theatre and an annual family ticket to Rothe House Garden.

3) One year’s tuition at Dreamstuff Youth Theatre and an annual family ticket to Rothe House Garden.

Shakespeare in the House

June 19th and 20th will see the famed Shakespeare in the House festival, in the authentic surroundings of our 17th century courtyard.  Children from the Dreamstuff Youth Theatre in Kilkenny will perform abridged versions of Macbeth (ssssshhhhh!), Much Ado about Nothing and Taming of the Shrew in the open air.  Free performances during the afternoon.  On both evenings, the Advanced Acting Group will perform Twelfth Night, with a BBQ in the garden afterwards.  Tickets for this will cost €15.00 and may be purchased at Rothe House, tel: 056 7722893, email info@rothehouse.com. Facepainting, sonnets and art competitions are also part of the two day festival, so make sure you bring your children with you ……….

Work starts on the Renaissance Project

Signing of the Contract between Rothe House Trust and Duggan Lynch & Co.

Signing of the Contract between Rothe House Trust and Duggan Lynch & Co.

15th March saw the builders (Duggan Lynch & Co) take possession of the Third House to begin work on the Renaissance Project. 

Rothe House & Garden Renaissance Project comes to life

The Renaissance Project at Rothe House & Garden in Kilkenny got underway last week.  Much work has been completed to get the project to this stage, including obtaining planning permission, undertaking an archaeological dig and tendering for the contract.  Now Duggan Lynch & Co. from Sion Road Kilkenny has been appointed as Main Contractor.

The project team is being overseen by Mr. Joe Ledwidge, current Chair of Rothe House Trust Limited, and includes Michael O’Boyle, from Bluett & O’Donoghue Architects, Shane McCullagh from McCullagh Lupton Quinn Quantity Surveyors, John Moloney from Don O’Malley Consulting Engineers, and Kevin Clancy from Michael Punch & Partners Structural Engineers.

The project has been supported by Fáilte Ireland through the NDP 2007-2013, and by the Councils of the City and County of Kilkenny. Gary Breen, Operations Manager Fáilte Ireland South East, said that Fáilte Ireland is delighted to support the development of projects such as this which continue to enhance the cultural and heritage product in Kilkenny. Joe Crockett, Kilkenny County Manager, said that this was a great day for Kilkenny when a piece of history is being made, and the Local Authorities are very pleased to be part of the project.

Work on Phase One will continue until mid June, and involves the refitting of the Third House.  The Kilkenny Archaeological Society’s library will be transferred to the top floor, and will be accessible by lift and staircase. The FÁS Local Training Initiative will also re-locate to the Third House during the summer. The ground floor of this building will house an exhibition space and coffee shop, and there will also be a meeting room available for hire.

During this phase, approximately 40 craftsmen will be employed on the project. This will provide a financial boost to Kilkenny and ensure that local skills and expertise are utilised.

Phase Two will begin in November of this year, and will see the development of a new and exciting exhibition space throughout the first and second houses in the complex. This will tell the story of the Rothe family, the House and the history of 17th century Kilkenny. When complete, Rothe House & Garden will be fully accessible to all visitors.

The project is the final piece of the conservation plan which was commissioned in 2002, through the Heritage Council of Ireland, by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society (KAS), who own Rothe House & Garden. This plan has already seen the reconstruction of the 17th century garden (opened by the President of Ireland, Mrs Mary McAleese on 11th April 2008) and major conservation and structural maintenance works on the buildings themselves (in November/December 2008).

The works of the conservation plan have been supported by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Office of Public Works and Kilkenny Civic Trust, as well as the Councils of the City and County of Kilkenny.

The whole project has also been supported by the members and friends of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society. The President of KAS, Ms Bernadette Dermody, said that the Society is very proud of the work which has been undertaken over the past long number of years to secure the future of Rothe House since it was saved from destruction in 1962, and noted that when the Renaissance project is complete in 2011, Rothe House & Garden will take pride of place among the heritage buildings of Ireland.

‘We have an exciting twelve months ahead of us to complete this project,’ said Mr. Joe Ledwidge, Chair of Rothe House Trust Limited and Project Manager. ‘We look forward to presenting Rothe House & Garden to our visitors in a new light.’

For more details, contact Róisín McQuillan, Manager, Rothe House & Garden: 086 2321275

Rothe House now on Google Earth

Thanks to the magic of 3D and the assistance of Tom Bialek at 3D Modeling, Rothe House can now be viewed on Google Earth. We’re working on a panoramic view from our second courtyard, so check us out but keep coming back as we update all the time.

Great new finds in our archaeological dig

We’ve been digging in the third courtyard now for over a week, as we prepare to construct a new kitchen in that area. A local firm, Kilkenny Archaeology, has been in during the cold and rain but it’s all proving worth it.  Late last week, they uncovered a 17th century wall going from north west to south east directly outside the back door of the third house. We never knew of its existence before, and it might possibly indicate a separate yard area within the third courtyard. Speculation is that the Rothe family used it to separate themselves from the servants!  Thinking of an Upstairs Downstairs scenario there.

Then this week, the archaeologists went further down and uncovered a waste pit from c. 14th/15th century. This would have been when the Cistercian monks lived on the site, so well before John Rothe even got his hands on it!  The pit was connected to a chute known as a garde-robe which served as a toilet within the house. We have found animal bone remains, medieval roof tiles and very specially what looks like a belt buckle!  It’s in terrific condition, and is made of iron. How that ended up in thewaste pit we can only imagine.

Rothe Family Garden in the Snow

Rothe House & Garden remained open through the bad weather.  Our intrepid staff made their way into work each day to open up. The garden was beautiful on Monday 7th January, before anyone ventured out in it.

Rothe Garden January 2010

KAS

Rothe House and Garden is the property of Kilkenny Archaeological Society (KAS). The Society has a full programme of events each year including lectures, field trips and seminars. See here for details of this year’s programme of events.

The KAS Library is open for three sessions weekly as follows:

  • Tuesday 2:30pm to 4:30pm
  • Wednesday 10:30am to 12:30pm
  • Saturday 2:30pm to 4:30pm

The library is available at other times by prior appointment. Non-members of the society are welcome to use the library facility at €5 per session.

The library contains a wide collection of Kilkenny newspapers from the 18th to 21st centuries, maps and family archives as well as numerous book relating to the history of Kilkenny.

Rothe House adds PayPal for easy payment

We’ve now added PayPal to our website, so that it’s even easier to make donations.  Check out our ‘Support Us’ Page for more details.