We did a self-guided tour around a restored late Tudor era merchant house and gardens. The house was built between 1594 and 1610 and was the home of a wealthy 17th-century merchant called John Rothe and his wife Rose Archer. The Rothe’s built 3 houses, one behind the other, separated by courtyards, to accommodate their expanding family, they had 12 children.
The house is now a small but growing museum, which contains a variety of artefacts of archaeological and historical interest from around Kilkenny. There were period costumes, Victorian era fashion accessories, Irish Deer antlers and 17th-century chairs and tables, some oil paintings and portraits by the painter Sir John Lavery.
The gardens have been renovated back to the style of a 17th-century garden, with one garden for growing herbs and vegetables and the other garden for relaxing in.
Rothe house also offers a genealogy service and they will assist you in researching your family tree and tracing your ancestors from County Kilkenny.
The house and gardens are run by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and a team of volunteers.
The house is located on Parliament Street in the centre of Kilkenny town and is across the street from the Smithwicks Brewery. If you have an hour or two to spare, it is well worth a visit, especially if you have an interest in history, historic houses and architecture.