Rothe House , is a unique 16th century Irish merchant’s townhouse located in the city of Kilkenny, Ireland. [1] The complex was built by John Rothe Fitz Piers between 1594-1610 and consists of three houses, three enclosed courtyards, and a large garden with reconstructed orchard. [2]

Rothe House is considered nationally significant because of the large supply of original post medieval features which survive in good condition in Ireland.[3] The property, an important element in Kilkenny heritage, owned by Kilkenny Archaeological Society and houses some of the association’s collection of objects related Kilkenny city, county and Ireland.

The garden at the back of the house has been reconstructed to reflect a typical 17th-century garden. The burgage empty as Rothe House was built survives intact one of a few in such an unaltered. Kilkenny’s medieval city wall is part of an area that belongs to the Rothe House complex.


The Rothes were mainly merchants, but they were also involved in politics.They ware part of an oligarchy of a dozen families who controlled Kilkenny throughout the 15th and 16th centuries, and the 17-talet.Rothe house was built on land burgage John Rothe Fitz Piers acquired.

The house was confiscated after Charles I’s defeat in England, because of his involvement in the confederation of Kilkenny. After the restoration of Charles II, the house was given back to the family.


Rothe House is an excellent example of a house in Kilkenny influential merchant class. It was built in the English Renaissance style that was introduced to the South East of Ireland by Thomas Butler the 10th Earl of Ormond in the 1560s. [4]

The configuration of the original series of the construction sequence by John Rothe three houses (six each in 1594, 1604 and 1610) have survived intact. [3]Rothes sequential building program is significant, because he deliberately built three independent houses rather than extending the first house to meet the needs of his growing family. In this he followed the pattern of development chosen by his wife’s family (the Archer) in their arrangement in the Archer House and the house was built behind it, now known as the “Hole in the Wall”.

House in Kilkenny that survive from the same period as is Rothe House;”Hole in the Wall”, High Street, built in 1582-4 by the Archer family; Shee Alms House, Rose Inn Street built in 1582 by Shee family; The Bridge House, built in John Street around the end of the 16th century that survives in part;Kyteler Inn, St. Kieran built in 1473-1702 built by Kyteler family; Also Deanery, Coach Road 1614 and 21 Parliament Street, which was built at the end of the 16/17 century and survives in part.

Statutory status

Rothe House legal status is that it is listed as part of the urban area of Kilkenny City in the Record of Monuments and Sites , is listed in an archaeological in Urban Archaeological Survey County Kilkenny . There is also a nationally important structure from the planning authority development plan under Schedule 1 of the Kilkenny City and environs Development Plan 1994 and is listed as being of national importance in the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage Survey of Kilkenny. [3]


Museum of Rothe House contains a variety of artifacts of archaeological and historical interest, most of them are locally or donated by citizens in Kilkenny Kilkenny Archaeological Society. [5]

See also

  • kilkenny