Rothe House & Garden launches its Renaissance Project

On Tuesday 27th October, at 5 pm, Rothe House Trust Limited and the Kilkenny Archaeological Society launched the final phase of their Conservation Plan for Rothe House on Parliament Street in Kilkenny city.

The Renaissance phase of the Conservation Plan will now commence in November 2009, and the project is being supported by the NDP programme, by Fáilte Ireland, and the Kilkenny Local Authorities, together with private individuals.  It is a major conservation and presentation project coming to Kilkenny in these difficult times, which will see substantial investment in the Heritage of the County. The project is estimated to cost €3.1 million and will take two years to complete. The project design will provide full accessibility for all to Rothe House and Garden, and when complete will prove to be a major tourist attraction and historical and genealogical research facility for Kilkenny and the South East of Ireland.

The project programme is being undertaken in two phases, during the winter months of 2009 and 2010.This is to ensure that the House and Garden can continue to operate as one of Kilkenny’s major tourist attractions during the busy season next year.

Rothe House & Garden will be the flagship of Kilkenny’s heritage and tourist industry when the Renaissance project is completed, and all conservation works finished. This will complete the restoration and the presentation of one of Ireland’s treasures for present and future generations.


British Ambassador visits Rothe House & Garden

David Reddaway at Rothe House & Garden

On August 16th, HE Mr. David Reddaway, British Ambassador to Ireland, visited Rothe House & Garden and planted a tree to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the granting of the City Charter to Kilkenny.  It was the last day of the Kilkenny Arts Festival, and the House and Garden was very busy.  Mr. Reddaway was welcomed by the Mayor of Kilkenny Councillor Malcolm Noonan, the Chair of Rothe House Trust, Mr. Joe Ledwidge, and the Vice-President of Kilkenny Archaeological Society, Mr. Peter McQuillan.

 He spoke of the close ties of friendship which had been forming between the two countries in recent years, and hoped that these would continue into the future.  He was delighted to visit Kilkenny, and to leave a lasting reminder of his visit here at Rothe House & Garden, where he had been very impressed by the work which had been done in re-creating the 17th century garden.

A Christmas Miscellany – 2nd December

Rothe Family Garden in Winter                There was a full house for the Rothe House & Garden Christmas Miscellany on Wednesday 2nd December at 7.30 pm.  The audience enjoyed a glass of mulled wine by the roaring log fire, and heard the Sonas Choir perform.  The music wasinterspersed with readings and musings, which included Kerry Hardie, Mark Roper, Sean Keane, Edwina Grace and Mary Byrne, and the whole evening had a winter and Christmas theme.  A wonderful evening full of atmosphere and winter warmth was had by all.  


For more details, phone 056 7722893.

Shakespeare in the House – 27th & 28th June

Shakespeare in the House

Two days of Shakespeare took place in the authentic surroundings of an early 17th century mansion and garden earlier this year in June. Rothe House was built as Shakespeare was writing his plays in London! Abridged versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, and A Comedy of Errors were performed in the Second Courtyard by children of all ages.  Also monologue, art and film competitions – all with a Shakespeare Theme. Held in collaboration with Dreamstuff Theatre Company and the Devious Theatre Company. Suitable for all the family. This Festival was part of the Kilkenny400 Celebrations. 

Meet the Rothes!

John Rothe and Rose Archer

Every Thursday evening, from 25th June to 27th August, visitors to Kilkenny had an opportunity to take a guided tour of Rothe House & Garden in the company of John Rothe Fitzpiers, and his wife Rose Archer, who built Rothe House between 1594 and 1610. They were taken on a journey through the 400 year old story of Rothe House & Garden.  Visitors were very complimentary about the tour, and spoke of a greater understanding of the family who lived in Rothe House in the early 17th century.

The Great Exhibition of 1907 in Dublin – Rothe House until end September

1907 Great Exhibition in Herbert Park, Dublin 

In 1907, a Great Exhibition was held in Dublin.  It was centered on Herbert Park in Donnybrook, which was in fact created particularly for this event.  It was a huge exhibition, and over 2.5 million people saw it during the four months it was in place.  The Chairman of the Organising Committee was the  Marquess of Ormonde, so there is an interesting Kilkenny connection.  100 years later, the RDS commissioned a Commemorative Exhibition.  This was co-curated by Brian Siggins of the Old Dublin Society and John Holohan.  The RDS have kindly lent the exhibition to Rothe House, and it will be on show during the month of September, in the ground floor of the Third House.

The Exhibition is part of the overall tour of the House & Garden.   

Global Lunchbox at Rothe House

Global Lunch Box returns

The Global Lunch box is a series of lunch time talks and workshops exploring the global issues of peak oil,
climate change and economic uncertainty with a focus on how these challanges can be met through local positive solutions.
Fridays, Rothe House, High St., 1pm, Є5 (price includes entry to gardens), Tea & coffee extra. 

Friday 8th May

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?    ——————————————————————————————————– The future is not what we thought it would be. In tackling climate change, and especially peak oil, we need to produce and consume closer to home. This will be a big change for society but could lead to a revival in the local economy and stronger communities.
This final lunchbox will explore where we go from here.



Booking not essential.

Changes to Entry to the Rothe Family Garden

From Monday 12th January, entry to the Rothe Family Garden has been altered, and is now through the House on Parliament Street. The gates at New Building Lane have been closed.

‘It was always intended that access to the House and Garden would be integrated and that the Garden would be entered in the same way that the Rothe Family would have done’, says Róisín McQuillan, Manager of Rothe House.  ‘Now that the conservation work on the Courtyards and House has been completed, it is appropriate to allow visitors to the House and Garden to enter through the House.’In line with the conditions of the Fáilte Ireland grant which funded a large part of the reconstruction works, there will be a nominal charge to visit the Garden.  It is now possible to visit the House and Garden together, or just the Garden on its own. 

Admission charges are as follows:

House & Garden:         Adults: €5.00                      Concessions:  €4.00

Garden Only:               Adults: €2.00                      Concessions: €1.00

Members of Kilkenny Archaeological Society can avail of the usual free admission. There will also be an annual ticket available for €10 which will allow unrestricted access to the Garden only (conditions will apply).  The annual ticket is being introduced to encourage local people to use the Garden on a regular basis.

For more details on this new system, contact Rothe House at 056 77228893, or email

Rothe House Trust receives €1.9 million for House Re-presentation Project

On the 8th December, Martin Cullen TD, Minister of Arts, Sports and Tourism formally announced the allocation of almost 11.2 million in Development Grants for six of the country’s main visitor attractions in counties Cork, Wicklow, Kilkenny, Wexford and Roscommon, as part of Fáilte Ireland’s Capital Investment Programme.  According to the Minister, “the projects for which funding has been allocated are excellent examples of existing attractions which will benefit from funding for upgrading and development of historic houses and other projects.”

The nominated projects were: Fota House and Gardens, Co Cork, Russborough, Blessington, Co Wicklow, Rothe House, Kilkenny, Dunbrody, New Ross, Co Wexford, Strokestown Museum, Co Roscommon, and Blarney Castle, Blarney, Co Cork. Rothe House is now recognised to be a major national attraction and an essential element in Ireland’s heritage and cultural history, and this funding will assist us to implement the recommendations of our Conservation Plan, and the House Re-presentation project.

The grant from Failte Ireland amounts to €1.9 million for Rothe House, and only provides part funding of the capital required for our House Re-presentation project. It is conditional on the Society and the Trust providing matching funding for the project. Whilst the Kilkenny Local Authorities have been very supportive, we will still need to carry-out another major fundraising campaign throughout 2009.


Christmas Miscellany at Rothe House

The Christmas Miscellany at Rothe House took place on Wednesday 3rd December last and was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The house was packed, standing room only, and the music and contributions were very well received. The Sonas Chamber Choir and friends sang a lovely collection of old winter and Christmas songs and led the entire audience in a rousing chorus of ‘Hark the Herald Angels sing’ to finish off the evening. The contributions from Frank Marshall, Melosina Lenox-Conyngham, Paul Coady, Róisín McQuillan and Gerry Moran were both amusing and thought provoking. In all the evening raised a considerable sum of money towards the House Re-presentation Project, and we are very grateful to all those contributors who gave their time free of charge.