Our Garden

Behind the houses and the courtyards, hidden from view to all who pass by, lies the Rothe family garden, the only urban garden of its kind open to the public. 

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Renaissance Garden of Status and Taste

Influenced by the Renaissance style that John Rothe would have seen on his travels to Europe, the impressive garden stretches as far as the city walls and contains an orchard, herb and vegetable gardens, a dovecote and a well. A summer house, built at a height so that the gardener could have surveyed the entire space, would also have existed. A well-designed garden reflected the status and taste of its owner and would have been important not just for growing food, but a private place to conduct business and entertain guests. 

A Garden Rediscovered

Archaeological excavations in 2008 uncovered the original layout of the garden, along with over 2,000 artefacts and the seeds and pollen of 17th century plants. After a careful restoration, the garden now boasts heritage varieties of many of the vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers that would have been grown in the 17th century. Today, visitors can experience the garden much as it was at the time the Rothe family lived here. The garden is an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of Kilkenny’s busy streets and a true hidden gem on the Medieval Mile. 

Rothe House & Garden 

Book your tickets now and step back in time at Rothe House & Garden


The garden of the once noble mansion extended backward to the town wall. This ancient plantation still preserves an interesting freshness, and though a decayed aspect is visible, its leafy sweetness and early fragrance are still sensibly experienced in its atmosphere. 

John Hogan, 1884 

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Garden History

Design Layout of our Garden at Rothe House

The Rothe House Garden was designed to reflect a late medieval/early Renaissance style, divided into different sections. It includes a formal garden with symmetrical beds, an orchard with traditional fruit trees, and a vegetable plot showcasing period-appropriate plants.The layout emphasises historical accuracy, featuring pathways that guide visitors through the distinct areas, each with plants that would have been typical in a 17th-century urban garden. The garden serves both as a visual delight and an educational resource on historical horticulture.

From Street Front to City Wall


Our Plant Species


Our Plant Species


Our Plant Species


Our Plant Species


Visitor Access

Accessibility Information
for our Visitors

Our courtyards and gardens are wheelchair accessible. The historic cobblestones in the courtyards and many staircases within the houses could be challenging. There are braille panels on the garden walls.We allow guide and therapy dogs to the premises. Due to the delicate nature of the site and especially the restored garden, we cannot allow other dogs. Please call us in advance on 056-7722893 to make arrangements.



Explore Rothe House, a
historic gem in Kilkenny.

Open daily with guided and self-guided tours available. Discover the rich history, beautiful gardens, and unique collections. Located at 16 Parliament Street in the heart of Kilkenny city. More details for your visit including opening hours and ticket prices can be found here.



Kind words from our visitors

Rothe House & Garden 

Book your tickets now and step back in time at Rothe House & Garden

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