Free Entry to Rothe House Garden?!

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Rothe House’s Garden is a magnificently restored late Tudor garden in the heart of Kilkenny City, although, it is hard to believe you are in the midst of the city while strolling amoung the period plants, trees, herbs and flowers; not to mention the resident ducks! Why not avail of free entry to this oasis?!  For the months of April and May, in conjunction with The Little Green Grocer, 6 Parliament Street, we are offering those whom present a hot drinks cup or sandwich wrapping bearing the logo of The Little Green Grocer free admission to the garden!

Alternatively, why not avail of a yearly garden pass which allows unlimited access to the garden for a year! A perfect place to spend your lunch breaks or drop into while in town.  For more information drop into us at reception or contact us on 056 77 22 893 or by email at 

Medieval Week 2015 – 17th to 26th April



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It’s that time of year once more when Kilkenny celebrates all things medieval and locals and visitors alike are treated to an array of medieval themed events, talks, fun and games for all ages and levels of interest taking place in city and county.

Rothe House & Garden with its rich history dating back to the late medieval
period and earlier will be hosting a number of events for the celebrations kicking off on Saturday the 17th April with a Medieval Games day in the garden!  For more information on events see the listings below:


Date/Time: Saturday 18th April – 11am to 4pm  

Event: The Medieval Games at Rothe House & Garden

Join us for a day of medieval fun and games at Rothe House & Garden.  Experience the majesty of European and Japanese archery or why not challenge the chess masters at their own game! Try on some medieval armour, learn how to play medieval games such as pitch & toss, queek, hopscotch and much more.  

Admission: Entry to the house and garden is free for the day although donations are requested for individual events.

Date/Time: 17th-26th – 3pm

Event: Guided tour of Rothe House

Visitors can avail of an indepth guided tour of Rothe House & Garden at no additional cost.  The tour lasting 45mins – 1 hour will flesh out the nuances and stories of the fabric of Rothe House & Garden.

Admission: €5.50 (concession rate of €4.50) Group of 10 or more €3.50pp and
must be booked in advance.

Date/Time: Saturday 18th April – 10.30am to 12.30pm
Event: Children’s Craft Workshop

A medieval themed children’s workshop for kids aged between 5 and 11.  The activity filled two hours allows the children to be creative and have fun with creating medieval themed works of art which can be brought home after.

Admission: €8 per child – pre booking essential.

Date/Time:  Friday 24th – 7p.m.
Event:  Survival in a Medieval Crisis – The Bruce Invasion and Black Death inmedieval Kilkenny; a talk by Finn Dwyer.

Based on research for his upcoming book on the Black Death, historian Fin Dwyer will recall a Kilkenny where life was a constant struggle for survival. This was a world where violence was endemic and starvation all too common. Witchcraft trails, violent feuds and social upheaval left the city and surrounding areas increasingly divided. Focusing on daily life in the period, this talk will look people how people reacted to these extraordinary events and how they changed Irish history.

Admission: €7 (€5 for members of Kilkenny Archaeological Society)

Date/Time: Friday 24th April – 5pm to 9pm
Event: The Rothe’s at Sunset

Take the opportunity to visit Rothe House & Garden through to sunset.  For one night only we will be open to visitors until 9pm; allowing you to experience our amazing townhouse, cobbled courtyards and garden as never before

Admission: Adults €5.50pp – Concession €4.50pp – Family €15


Make Your Own Natural Skincare Products at Rothe House!



On Saturday March 28th Denise O’Connell of MySkin will be holding a very special morning workshop in Rothe House, where you can create your own lip balms, facial serums and body butter. This fun, informative and creative workshop beginning at 10am lasts two and a half hours and at the end you can take home your beautiful handmade products worth €45 or avail of the opportunity to purchase home kits.

The workshop costs €45 and places are strictly limited so pre-booking is advised by calling into Rothe House & Garden reception on Parliament Street or calling 056 7722893

For more information on the course Denise can be contacted at: 087 1315947 or

Well Being at Rothe House & Garden

Over the coming months, Rothe House and Garden will become an oasis of calm, mindfulness and energy. Already, each Wednesday lunchtime in the setting of the stunning Tudor mansion, people have been taking part in half-hour Mindfulness sessions guided by Erica Balfour.

And now, from the 27th of January, Breda Gardner will offer a four-week course to help you get energised and make the most of 2015. The first two sessions are about energising your body and overcoming fatigue. Breda will guide the group in some gentle exercise to music, followed by a brief talk and some meditation. “People will come away feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and relaxed’, says Breda – a published author in the area of alternative wellbeing and a registered nurse.

Each evening will run from 8pm to 9.30pm in Rothe House and will cost €10 per session. Enquiries can be made to Rothe House, 056 7722893 or Proceeds will go towards the ongoing upkeep of Rothe House and Garden.


27th January – Energise your Body and Overcome Fatigue. Part 1

3rd February – Energise your Body and Overcome Fatigue. Part 2

10th February – The Power of The Now.

17th February – How Your Personality Type Effects Your Health


Fundraising Performance – ‘The Importance of Being Oscar’

Oscar Wilde and Micheál MacLiammóir help to fundraise for the Rothe House Renaissance Project.




A unique link is being revived between Rothe House and Micheál MacLiammóir this month, with a performance of his play ‘The Importance of Being Oscar’ at Kyteler’s Inn on 31st of January at 8 pm ( with pre-show reception at Rothe House at 7 pm).

The eloquent actor, stage designer, wit and playwright, wrote his tribute to Oscar Wilde in 1960 and performed it in New York and London as well as Dublin.  This piece is now being presented by Banba’s Crown Theatre Company, in an informal setting at Kyteler’s Inn, as part of the fundraising campaign for the Renaissance Project at Rothe House.

Michael Judd, of Banba’s Crown, has had a long relationship with ‘The Importance of Being Oscar’:


“From the first reading, I felt an affinity for Micheál MacLiammóir’s beautifully written tribute to Oscar Wilde. I first performed excerpts from it in March 1997 in Soho, New York, as part of a festival of Irish Culture.  I went on to work on other projects over the years, but always felt a desire to revisit this play and explore it more fully.

In 2012, my wife Sinéad and I re-established “Banba’s Crown”, a Production Company which we started in New York City to adapt and revive older Irish works.  We began work on adapting “The Importance of Being Oscar” with a view to presenting it to modern audiences. We both had a sense that it would be more interesting to present the work in diverse settings other than conventional theatres. Since then, our journey has taken us to some unexpected and remarkable spaces! ”

– Michael Judd


Micheál MacLiammóir is well remembered for his outstanding performance at Rothe House in 1968, when he was invited to visit during the filming of ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’.  In an extract from Maureen Hegarty’s memoir of that visit, she suggested that ‘he come back later and give us a night?’ And he did.  In November 1968, he performed ‘I Must Be Talking to My Friends’ in the stunning Phelan Room, which was packed to the rafters. Maureen’s amusing account of that night is captured forever in the 2010 Old Kilkenny Review – the Journal of Kilkenny Archaeological Society.

This charming account will be recited on the 31st January, at a pre-show reception to be held at Rothe House.

Tickets for this event are €15 (€20 to include the pre-show reception and recitation), and are available at Rothe House, by telephoning 056 7722893, emailing, or calling in.

All proceeds from the night go to the Renaissance Project at Rothe House (


Mindfulness Classes in Rothe House & Garden.

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Rothe House & Garden are delighted to invite you to participate in our mindfulness sessions which will take place in conjunction with Mindfulness Kilkenny.  The lunchtime sessions, lasting thirty minutes will be conducted by Erica Balfour amid the historic late Tudor merchants townhouse & garden in the heart of the city.

Beginning on Wednesday, January 7th at 1.10pm to 1.40pm it is the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and train your mind to be calm this new year.  These mindfulness sessions will help you return to work or your daily life and deal with stressful situations more skilfully.

Admission is just €5 per session (€3 for KAS members) and all are most welcome.  

Christmas Miscellany – 10th December 2014.

Looking forward to our Christmas Market on December 13th?

Why not treat yourself beforehand and drop in on the 10th of December at 8pm for our annual Christmas Miscellany!

Seasonal readings and essays, traditional music with a festive touch and mulled wine will make this a perfect evening! 

Admission is €10.


Christmas Market at Rothe House & Garden.

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting a truly festive Christmas Market on Saturday, 13th of December.  The market lasting between 10am and 5pm will take place through the charming courtyard and beautiful rooms of the late 16th century merchants townhouse on Parliament street.

We’re throwing our doors open for the day and over 20 craftspeople and vendors will join us selling handmade treats and gifts. There will be music and hot drinks available throughout the day and hot food will be supplied by the one and only Bula Bus.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect gift or something a little unusual or different you’re sure to find it on the day!

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Lecture – The Celts of Transylvania – Wednesday 26th November.


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Dr. Radu Zagreanu from The Museum Complex of Bistrita-Nasaud and Dr. Marius Ardeleanu from History and Archaeological Museum of Baia Mare county (Romania, Transylvania) invite all members and guests for an informal lecture on ‘’ The Celts of Transylvania”. In this lecture the audience is invited to travel along on a journey of the Celtic migration and interaction with Dacian culture of the eastern part of Europe, the return of the Celtic world through the Roman armies in this region during the Roman conquest of Dacia, Celtic elements reminiscent in local folklore and popular culture. It will be a unique experience focused onan area of the Celtic world poorly known in Western Europe. Celtic influence on Dacian population seems to have been very large, but several issues require further careful research and debates.

The lecture will cover some few topics such as: The Migration of Celtic people in the Balkans; Interaction with the native population (Dacians); Presentation of archaeological artifacts of Celtic origin from Transylvania; short presentations of La Téne culture in Transylvania; Celtic tribes in Transylvania; The Celtic Helmets from Transylvania (One of the best known and most often reproduced piece of Celtic art is the helmet found in awarrior’s chieftain’s grave at Ciume?ti, Romania); The Roman conquest and the arrival of Celtic auxiliary troops in Roman Dacia province; elements of Celtic influence in Transylvanian folklore and popular arts.

It will be an intriguing experience for those who want to make an imaginary journey to the ancient world of the Eastern Europe, by the time of the highest expansion of the Celtic civilisation to it’s end. Archaeological artifacts, linguistic reminiscences, artistic and cultural influences are extremely important for a greater understanding and clarity of events which helped to shape Europe history and forming an invisible ‘’bridge” of connection between different parts of the world.


Wednesday26th November 8pm

admission €5 for KAS members, €7 for non-members

Open Day at Rothe House & Garden – October 11th

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Discover more about Rothe House & Garden, Kilkenny on St. Canice’s Day

Have you ever wondered just what goes on in Rothe House & Garden on Parliament Street?  Now’s your chance to find out, on Saturday 11th October, when the good people of Rothe House are running an Open Day.  Running from 11 am to 4.30 pm there will be plenty of opportunity to drop in and see for yourself.


Did you know:

  • Rothe House offers a range of Children’s workshops throughout the year?


  • The House is owned by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society?


  • There’s a FETAC Level 5 full time course on offer: Business Studies, in conjunction with Waterford and Wexford ETB (places still available for 2014/2015)?


  • The Kilkenny Archaeological Society opens its library to the public three times a week?


  • The Society runs a programme of lectures and outings throughout the year, open to non members?


  • There are over 2,500 artefacts in the Society’s collection?


  • The garden is a reconstruction of the 17th century garden laid out by John Rothe Fitzpiers in the early 1600s?


  • 5 ducks live in the garden – Jemima, Rosie, Maisie, Gertrude and Mildred?


  • The House is the only complete urban house of its type and period in the country?


  • A Conservation Plan was put in place in 2002, and is now almost complete?


  • Most of the work undertaken at Rothe House over the past 50 years has been achieved by volunteers?



Find out more about all of this, by visiting Rothe House & Garden on Saturday 11th October.  Activities will include butter making, apple pressing and a taster for the Children’s workshops. There will also be the opportunity to dress up in costume and take your photograph! Or better still, put someone in the Stocks for a while.

Cara O’Doherty, from the Barn Own Players, will be in the House for the day, and will present a 10 minute play about Kilkenny in the 17th century – the historical period that Rothe House represents.

Admission is free to all during these times – so drop in and see for yourself what happens behind the gate at Rothe House & Garden.

This is a fundraising event for the Renaissance Project.  Donations on the day will be very welcome.


For more details, contact Roisin McQuillan on 086 3415626, email