Rothe House & Garden

Kilkenny City

Dating from 1594, this is Ireland's finest example of a Tudor merchant's house, complete with a restored medieval garden. Built around a series of courtyards, it now houses a museum with a rather sparse display of local artefacts, including a rusted Viking sword and a grinning stone head sculpted by a Celtic artist. The highlight is the delightful walled garden, divided into fruit, vegetable and herb sections and a traditional orchard, as it would have been in the 17th century.

There's also a genealogy centre here.

In the 1640s the wealthy Rothe family played a part in the Confederation of Kilkenny, and Peter Rothe, son of the original builder, had all his property confiscated. His sister was able to reclaim it, but just before the Battle of the Boyne (1690) the family supported James II and so lost the house permanently. In 1850 a Confederation banner was discovered in the house; it's now in the National Museum in Dublin.

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