For those of you who aren’t aware, Rothe House is in the process of reconstructing the 17th century garden laid out by John Rothe, builder of the house itself. The garden stretched from the back of the third house all the way to the City Walls, and was in three parts: a vegetable garden, a formal garden and a large orchard. John and his wife Rose would have used the garden as a source of food, but also as a pleasure garden – somewhere to walk and take exercise, or to relax and entertain guests.

The garden will be open to the public from the end of October.

A very successful archaeological dig was carried out prior to Easter, by local company Kilkenny Archaeology. Many very interesting finds were discovered, but very importantly evidence of the original planting beds of the early 17th century was found. This means that our Design Team can use this information when they design the garden.

At the moment, the existing walls on the plot are being restored and rebuilt, and in a few weeks time contractors will be on site building new walls to plug the gaps.

Later in the summer, the landscapers will move in so that the garden will be ready for opening in late autumn.

This very ambitious project is being supported by Failte Ireland, Kilkenny Borough Council and Kilkenny Civic Trust. The garden committee comprises representatives from Kilkenny County Council, the OPW and the Department of the Environment, Local Government and Heritage.

Keep watching this space as I’ll be reporting on progress over the summer.