New date added due to popular demand! Children’s Workshop at Rothe House this Autumn – 30th and 31st October

Children's WorkshopSTOP PRESS:  Thursday’s Children’s workshop is booked out! So we’ve added a second one for Wednesday 30th October. All details the same.  Book now to ensure your child’s place. 

Next children’s workshop at Rothe House & Garden – Thursday 31st October.  Our workshops are always popular, with lots of regulars coming back again and again.  We’re always looking forward to welcoming new participants, so contact us to book your children’s place today!  Don’t be disappointed.

Get ready for Hallowe’en – make your masks and lots more.  Children from 5 to 12 are welcome.

11.00 – 12.30 Get creative, and make your Hallowe’en mask and lots more scary stuff.

12.30 – 1.00 Break (bring your own lunch)

1.00 – 2.00  Michael Moylan of Irish History Live brings past Hallowe’ens to life, with scary stories.

€6.00 each session (morning and afternoon), or €10 for both.

Note:  This workshop will be photographed, for promotional purposes.  You will be required to sign a release form, giving Rothe House & Garden permission to photograph your child.

This workshop has been made possible with the support of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under their 2013 Scheme to Assist Local and Regional Museums.

Are you a quiz enthusiast? Keep 6th November free, if so.

Pub quiz to take place in Bollards’ Pub, Kieran Street, Kilkenny on Wednesday 6th November, at 8.00 pm.  Six rounds of six questions – all general knowledge, and not taxing!  €40 for a table of four includes refreshments at the interval.

This is a fundraising event for the Rothe House Renaissance Project.  At long last, work is proceeding on this project this winter, with the builders expected on site in November.  A new exhibition display will be installed in early 2014, in readiness for a new and exciting season.

This is an expensive project!   Huge support has been received from Failte Ireland, and the Councils of the City and County of Kilkenny but there’s still a large gap to be bridged to ensure its completion.

So come along to Bollards on 6th November, and enjoy a good night out – all for a good cause.  Thanks!

Kilkenny’s Education History & Heritage – One Day Seminar

A thought provoking and stimulating journey of discovery surrounding the heritage and history of education in Kilkenny takes place on Saturday 19th October.  Jointly hosted by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and Rothe House Trust Ltd., one day seminar brings together a most knowledgeable range of speakers and chairpersons.  Located in the delightfully newly restored Chapter House at St. Mary’s Cathedral, the cost of the seminar includes morning coffee and lunch.


9.45 am   Welcome from Mr. Peter McQuillan, President, Kilkenny Archaeological Society

10.00 am Early Bardic Schools – Lecturer: Dr. Colman Etchingham; Chair: Dr. Proinsias Ó’Drisceoil

10.40 am St. John’s College, Kilkenny – Lecturer: Mr. Paul Cuddihy; Chair: Right Revd. Bishop Michael Burrows

11.30 am Morning Coffee (included in seminar fee)

11.35 am St. Kieran’s College – Lecturer: Dr. Fergus O’Farrell; Chair: Rev. Mons Michael Ryan

12.10 pm Women’s Education – Lecturer: Ms Maureen Hegarty MA; Chair: Dr. Máire Downey

13.00 pm Lunch (included in seminar fee)

14.15 pm Christian Brothers Schoolsan educational force – Lecturer: Mr. Sean Breathnach; Chair: Ms Pádraigín ni Dhubhulachra

14.50 pm Kilkenny VEC – Lecturer: Mr. Tony Patterson; Chair: Mr. Patrick Nolan

15.30 pm The Rising Star of the Gaelscoil – Lecturer:  Mr. Sean O’hArgáin; Chair: Mr. Peter McQuillan

Fees:  €25.00 (€20 for members of Kilkenny Archaeological Society).  Advisable to register in advance to ensure your place!  €10 non refundable deposit to Rothe House & Garden, Parliament Street, Kilkenny or email Tel: 056 7722893.


Back to Our Past lecture programme just announced.

Back To Our Past takes place on 18th-20th October at the RDS, Ballsbridge, Dublin.

This is one of the main Irish heritage events during the year of The Gathering, and the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., has accepted an invitation to officially open the presentations at 12.15pm on Friday 18th October.  The lectures are sponsored by (run by the Irish Family History Foundation), and have been organized by the Association of Professional Genealogists in Ireland (APGI).

Programme Content

The talks cover a wide range of topics that will appeal to military history and local history enthusiasts as well as the family history researchers who attend the event.  Such diverse subjects as Book Collecting, Priest Hunters, the Morpeth Roll, and ‘Transport Ancestors’ are included, while two questions are posed: Who Are the Irish Anyway?  Who Do the Irish Think They Are?

The military history ranges in time from the Norman invasion of Ireland to the Irish in the Vietnam War.  Absolute beginners in family history are catered for, as of course are the more experienced.  Popular topics that are the staple diet of the BTOP audience return again, while sources like School Roll Books make a first appearance, and place names are given some scrutiny.  Looking overseas, there are lectures on researching in U.S. records, as well as in the National Library of Wales and London’s Society of Genealogists.

Genealogists from the Irish Family History Foundation will be amongst the speakers, including Monica Hynes, East Galway Genealogy centre in Woodford, Michael Byrne, Laois/Offaly, Brian Mitchell of Derry and Gillian Hunt from the Ulster Historical Foundation (Cos. Antrim and Down). Tony Hennessy is one of the new faces, along with the authors James Durney, Conor Kostick, Colin Murphy and Damian Shiels.  Three energetic lecturers – David Butler, Else Churchill and Mario Corrigan – will be delivering two talks each.

The full timetable of the presentations may be seen on the Programme Schedule page <> of the BTOP website.

These talks run in two concurrent strands throughout the event, and admission is free for all those attending the BTOP (first come, first served).

Kilkenny Arts Festival @ Rothe House & Garden

Rothe House & Garden is alive with activity for this year’s Kilkenny Arts Festival.  As well as being part of the official programme, with the very exciting Bob and Roberta Smith installations, we have lots of other activities taking place as well including the ever popular Children’s workshops.

Claire Bourke returns with her fascinating photograph exhibition. Claire has been taking photographs in Kilkenny and throughout the world for the past number of years, and brings these places to life with incredible imagination.  Her work is beautiful, and affordable, and every home in Kilkenny should have a Claire Bourke photograph.

Ailbe O’Donoghue, of Wellread Books, also returns. Ailbe has been coming to Rothe House for so long that it wouldn’t be Kilkenny Arts Festival without him.  All enthusiastic book lovers must treat themselves to a visit to his ‘pop up’ bookshop.

A newcomer to Rothe House & Garden this year is Gabrielle Sampson, a ceramicist who divides her time between the USA and Ireland.  Her works are certainly unique and will complement the beautiful courtyard in which they are being exhibited.

All these exhibitions are free of charge.

Children's Workshop  On Thursday and Friday 15th and 16th August, our Children’s workshops return.  Children from the ages of 5 – 12 can spend a couple of hours in this magnificent 17th century setting, and let their imaginations run riot.  Creative craftwork is the order of the day, and the children get to bring home what they make.  Due to their popularity, it’s advised to book places as soon as possible, by telephone: 056 7722893, or email:  €6 per child.  (These workshops have been made possible with the support of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under their 2013 Scheme to Assist Local and Regional Museums.)

More information on Rothe House & Garden can be found on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @rothehouse

Celebrating 5 years of the Rothe House Garden with a Midsummer Garden Party

All weather plans in operation for this fantastic event!  Never mind the weather, come and enjoy the magnificent House & Garden and enjoy all our activities.

The beautiful Rothe House Garden is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since President Mary McAleese paid a visit and performed the official opening ceremony. Since then, the garden has gone from strength to strength as its fruit trees grow into maturity, and its vegetables, herbs and flowering plants continue to delight each year.  Two years ago, six ducks came to live in the garden, and are a source of great enjoyment for all visitors.



On Saturday 22nd June, the Midsummer Magic garden party takes place.  An afternoon of music, history re-enactments, strawberries and cream, and face painting for the children (and adults!) starts at 2.00 pm.  Music provided by the Conradh na Gaeilge Choir.  Tickets for this Party are €10, and €5 for children (family of four €20), with all proceeds going to the Rothe House Renaissance Project, and are available from Rothe House (tel: 056 7722893).  Thanks are due to Pat Nolan of Irish Origins Research Agency and Glanbia for their assistance in providing refreshments.



Rothe House stocks

Fancy your chances in the  Medieval Stocks?  Wet sponges will be at hand, and for a small donation,you can try them out!

On Wings of Song – Concert at Rothe House & Garden

On wings of Song

A song recital by ever popular soprano,

Carmel Cashin with Martin O Reilly on Piano

in Rothe House on this coming

Tuesday May 28th

at 8.00pm

Their programme will include

Mozart, Mendelssohn, Moore, Schumann, Fauré,Poulenc,Ireland, Grey, Quilter, and Novello

 Admission €10.00

 Proceeds in aid of the Rothe House Restoration Fund

‘Telling the Story of Rothe House’ 27th April

‘Telling the story of Rothe House’ a must for history lovers

  • Conference on Saturday April 27 now open for booking


HISTORY lovers and those interested in getting an insight into life in an iconic, early 17th century merchant’s townhouse will delight in a conference which lifts the lid on the era and further highlights the significance of an iconic Kilkenny house and garden.

The findings of recent archaeological digs around Rothe House and its garden will be reviewed  as part of the ‘Telling the story of Rothe House’ conference in the House on Saturday April 27. Rothe House and Garden is of major national significance as it is the most intact example of an early 17th century merchant’s townhouse in Ireland.

The event is a joint venture between Kilkenny Archaeological Society (KAS) and The Rothe House Trust (RHT) and one of a number of events planned as part of the €3.1m Renaissance Project, which is now underway. It involves the imminent refurbishment of the first and second of the three houses and installation of a new exhibition space, with a circulation route through the two houses and ensuring its significance is preserved for future generations and its fascinating story is professionally presented to visitors.

While the conference will appeal to local historians, it is also attracting national interest, according to RHT director Colm Murray. “We’re hosting this conference to share recent summaries of knowledge on the interpretation of the House. The Conference is being held to ensure that recent extensive research is shared among society members and friends of Rothe House and a wider national and international audience.  This period of our history is not as well-known or discussed as later eras, but Rothe House is evidence of a thriving time in Irish life. Our re-presentation project intends to shed light on these Irish town ‘mansion houses’.

“Recent archaeological research will be presented and we will examine how best to share this information through the Renaissance Project and for generations to come.”

The conference will be addressed by Coilin O’Drisceoil,  Director, Kilkenny Archaeology Society who will discuss the recent archaeological digs and the garden study at Rothe House. The significance of House 2 and 3 will be outlined in a keenly anticipated presentation by Ben Murtagh, Archaeologist. ‘Moments in time: medieval, Renaissance and post-medieval Rothe House’ is the title of a presentation by Jason Bolton, Archaeologist and Historic Buildings Consultant. Colm Murray, Board Member RHT and Architecture Officer, the Heritage Council will delve into the history of the house as domestic space.

David Culliton, Chairman, RHT will open the conference, and Ann Tierney, Council Member, and Peter McQuillan, President of KAS, will chair the sessions.

A registration fee of €25.00, discounted to €20 for Society Members applies and places, which are offered on a first come, first served basis, can be booked by contacting Rothe House on (056) 77 22893.

Rothe House and Garden is owned by Kilkenny Archaeological Society and managed by Rothe House Trust. The House is open to the public as a museum, displaying some of the 2,500 historic artefacts collected by the Society since its founding in 1947.

These artefacts all relate to Kilkenny heritage throughout the ages and some date from pre-historic times. The garden, open since 2008, is a reconstruction of an early 17th century urban garden, and has become a very popular garden to visit in Ireland.



Sky The Cat Laughs Festival @ Rothe House

Great news!  Rothe House & Garden is one of The Cat Laughs’ new venues for 2013, and we welcome the Kitten Club on Saturday and Sunday 1st and 2nd June.  Great line up with Bec Hill, Reuben and David O’Doherty.  We love encouraging children and their families to visit us here, and this will be no exception.

Check out to find out more, and book your children in sharpish!


Still time to book events at Conference on Emigration this week – 2-4 April

2nd April: Keynote lecture at 7.00 pm, Dr. Patrick Fitzgerald of Queens University Belfast, explores ‘Emigration through the Centuries’. followed by ‘An Irish Wake’ – an evening of song, music and musings on the emigration theme, as we enjoy an evening meal in Kilkenny’s famed hostelry. €36.00 contact 056 7722893, or email

3rd April: Coach tour through Counties Kilkenny and Carlow visiting: Inistioge, Graignamanagh, Bagenalstown, Old Leighlin and Castlecomer. Lecture at Rothe House at 4.30 pm: Dr. Fergus Farrell discusses the role of St. Kieran’s College in emigration from Ireland. €40.00 contact 056 7722893, or email Includes coffee and lunch.

4th April: 10.00 am Lecture in Chapter Room of St. Maruy’s Cathedral. Dr. Maire Downey explores the Estate Funded assisted passage schemes in the Prior-Wandesford Estate Papers. Followed by Mr. John Kirwan’s (MA) discussion of 20th century emigration, and Professor Terence Dooley’s comments on the Big House 1900-1940. €36.00 contact 056 7722893, or email Includes coffee and lunch.

Part of the Gathering Initiative – and supported by the Gathering Steering Group, Kilkenny.