In autumn of this year I spent quiet a bit of time in Kilkenny with work. I also managed to do some sight seeing and spend some time at a number of historic sites within the former medieval city.
Rothe House a late 16th/early 17th century merchant’s townhouse, built between 1594 and 1610 was a definite highlight. The site consists of complex of three houses and three enclosed courtyards, with a large garden at the rear.
For a brief overview of the history of the site see the video below
The houses are fascinating and on my visit I availed of a self-guided tour, that takes the visitor through the Tudor buildings, highlighting interesting historical facts and architectural features within the buildings.
Prior to the opening Kilkenny Archaeology carried out a series of archaeological excavations within the garden between 2005-7.
The garden is divided into two sections. The section closest to the house, know as the lower garden is planted with vegetables and herbs that include Deer Tongue lettuce, Scarlet Runner beans, Gortahork cabbage, Mammoth leeks, Lovage, Borage and Ladys bedstraw along with carrots, parsnips and pumpkins.
The other area, the upper garden or orchard contains a wide range of fruit trees: apple; medlar; quince and damson. The apple varieties include Blood of the Boyne and Scarlet Crofton. The area is also home to a noisy family of ducks.
Rothe House and Gardens are open all year round and I highly recommend a visit even if it’s just to take some time out and relax in the wonderful garden. My visit was in late autumn and there was still lots of colour in the garden. I am looking forward to returning next spring or summer to see what the garden is like at other times of the year. Information on the opening times to the site are found in the links below.
Many thanks to Kilkenny archaeologist Phil Kenny for bringing me on a tour of the museum and the wonderful garden at Rothe House.