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 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

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.

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.