Rothe House is a early 17th-century merchant’s home built in 1594, consisting of three separate town houses, three enclosed courtyards and a newly restored garden to the rear. It was built between 1594 and 1610, by a wealthy Kilkenny merchant, John Rothe Fitzpiers. Rothe House was his family home and place of business, as he was an importer of fine cloths and silks from England and the continent. He lived here with his wife, Rose Archer, and their twelve children.
The house and garden are privately owned by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and are open to the public throughout the year. Rothe House is also home to the society’s vast collection of artefacts relating to life in Kilkenny, as well as its library. This contains a full collection of local newspapers, maps, family archives and books of local and national historic interest. Exhibitions frequently rotate to display the collection of artefacts.
The Garden, which opened to the public in 2008, is a reconstruction of an early 17th-century Irish town garden, and includes a large orchard of fruit trees, complemented by a large vegetable and herb garden.
A County Kilkenny family history research service is available to patrons. Rothe House Heritage Trust is the designated family history research centre for County Kilkenny and is a member of the Irish Family History Foundation.
All enquiries are answered promptly and initial and full search options are available to those seeking to discover their Kilkenny family roots. People who wish to find out more about past family members; where they worked or lived, who they married and more, then they should contact Rothe House by either calling in or via our website where you can fill out an information form. Their genealogist will be in touch on receipt of this form to advise on the type of information that can be provided, cost and duration of initial and full search options.
The Kilkenny Archaeological Society Members library here, open by appointment, holds a treasure trove of information for anyone researching local history.