This year’s Heritage Week runs from the 12th to the 20th of August. The theme for 2023 is ‘Living Heritage’, inviting you to explore the traditions and practices, knowledge and skills passed down through generations. Heritage Week is always one of the highlights of the year, but especially for a place as steeped in history as Rothe House and Garden.

Garden Tours

We are offering three guided tours of our seventeenth-century garden, completely free of charge. These will take place on Tuesday, August 15, from 11am to 12pm, Wednesday, August 16, from 1pm to 2pm, and on Thursday, August 17, from 11am to 12pm.

Rothe House Head Gardener, Mary Pyke, will lead the way as you find out all about the extensive excavation of the former work yard and the treasures that were unearthed during the process. Carefully restored in a style similar to what the Rothe family themselves enjoyed, the garden is now an oasis of calm in the busy city centre. It completes the property to show how it would have originally looked and this is now one of the only complete burgage plots in Ireland.

Today, heritage varieties of vegetables, plants, herbs, and fruits are grown, similar to what would have been grown in the early to mid-1600s. Mary will talk to you about the various household and medicinal uses of the herbs and plants and how the garden represented the wealth and status of the Rothes.

All are welcome for what promises to be a fascinating insight into a unique urban garden!

These tours are free with entry via New Building Lane. They are accessible for wheelchair users and for buggies.

 Language and the Ros Tapestry

On Sunday, August 20, at 3pm, Rothe House will host an exploration of Language and the Ros Tapestry. Join Dr Áine Furlong and Ann Griffin Bernstorff as they look at the complexity of communication in early Medieval Ireland.

The Ros Tapestry is a unique project that has been ongoing in the South East of Ireland since 1998 and has involved hundreds of stitchers working on 15 large panels, depicting our Anglo-Norman history and linking many of the Norman sites in Ireland’s Ancient East.

The inspiration for this talk comes from the panel, ‘Battles in the Kingdom of Ossory’, which is currently being completed in Rothe House. It is estimated that over 10 languages were spoken at the battle, which must certainly have led to difficulties in communication!

Dr Áine Furlong is a committed embroiderer on the Ros Tapestry and a retired lecturer in Second Language Acquisition, French and Intercultural Communication.

Ann Griffin Bernstorff is the artist who designed each panel of the Ros Tapestry and has conducted in-depth research into the historical background of each one.

This event is free of charge. To reserve your space, please email

 For information on the Kilkenny Arts Festival and Alternative Kilkenny Arts Festival events taking place at Rothe House this August, click here.