19th-century costumes on show at Rothe House

This week sees the re-introduction of a costume display at Rothe House and Garden, where “The Shankill Collection revisited” is now on display as part of the tour.

This week sees the re-introduction of a costume display at Rothe House and Garden, where “The Shankill Collection revisited” is now on display as part of the tour.

With assistance from textile consultant Mairead Johnston and Nikki Toler-Aylward, this glimpse into life in 19th-century Shankill Castle, Paulstown, promises to excite and enthuse visitors of all ages and nationality.

“Emily Butler, a wealthy heiress from Dublin, married Hector James Charles Toler-Aylward in 1894, and a trousseau was prepared for this momentous occasion,” explained Rosemary Barnes, honorary curator with Kilkenny Archaeological Society. “In fact, some of her gowns were considered too glamorous or ‘posh’ for Paulstown and were never actually worn. We are fortunate to have had this trousseau donated by the Toler-Aylward family and are very excited to now have this opportunity to put it on display.”

The exhibition is now open, forming part of the general tour of Rothe House and Garden on Parliament Street, Kilkenny, which is open to the public seven days a week until mid-September, and then six days a week.

These costumes form part of a major collection which has been in the ownership of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society for some years now, and which has been undergoing some conservation work recently. It is an artistic resource of costume, ranging from the late 18th century to the mid-20th century – 200 years of social and economic history.