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

Rose Archer (Meagan Donoghue) in her garden at Rothe House and Garden, Parliament Street, Kilkenny.
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.

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, 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.