The merchant of Marble city

We did a self guided tour around a restored late Tudor era merchant house and gardens.  The house was built between 1594 and 1610 and was the home of a wealthy 17th century merchant called John Rothe and his wife Rose Archer.  The Rothe’s built 3 houses, one behind the other, separated by courtyards, to accommodate their expanding family, they had 12 children.

Rothe House Tudor
Rothe House in Kilkenny


The house is now a small but growing museum, which contains a variety of artefacts of archaeological and historical interest from around Kilkenny.  There were period costumes, Victorian era fashion accessories, Irish Deer antlers and 17th century chairs and tables, some oil paintings and some portrays by the painter Sir John Lavery.

Deer antlers
Giant Irish Deer Antlers



The gardens have been renovated back to the style of a 17th century garden, with one garden for growing herbs and vegetables and the other garden for relaxing in.

Rothe House Tudor Kilkenny (47)


Rothe house also offers a genealogy service and they will assist you in researching your family tree and tracing your ancestors from county Kilkenny.

The house and gardens are run by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society and a team of volunteers.

The house is located on Parliament street in the centre of Kilkenny town and is across the street from the Smithwicks Brewery.  If you have an hour or two to spare, it is well worth a visit, especially if you have an interest in history, historic houses and architecture.


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St Mary’s Church, Gowran

Driving through county Kilkenny last week, we stopped in Gowran and visited the remains of a medieval church.

St. Mary’s Collegiate Church,  is located in the centre of the town of Gowran, County Kilkenny, Ireland.

This site has been a place of worship going back to pre Christian times (3rd/4th century) and the church buildings pictured here date back to Medieval times, (12th/13th century).  There is also an Ogham stone on the site.

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St Canice’s Cathedral & Round Tower

We visited Kilkenny City in the south of Ireland and visited St Canice’s Cathedral. The Cathedral dates back to the medieval times, it was built in the 13th Century between (1210 and 1280) by peasant colonists from England and Wales and is a great example of gothic architecture.  The Cathedral was the seat of Bishop of Ossory.

The Cathedral has a round tower,  which is quite unique as it is only one of two round tower’s in Ireland that you can climb, (the other is in Kildare town at St Brigid’s Cathedral),  St Canice’s round tower,  is 800 metres and you have to climb up about eight ladders inside the tower.

There are great views of the Marble City from the top.  The Cathedral was built on the site of a Gaelic monastery and the round tower was used by the Monks to ring a bell that marked pray time in the monastery.  Inside the Cathedral, there are some stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke and tombs dating back to the 12th and 13th Century.

Harry clarke stained glass kilkenny
Harry Clarke stained glass windows in St Canice’s Cathedral in Kilkenny