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“Terrific closeup on everyday upper middle class life way back when...”

Rothe House and Garden
Ranked #10 of 75 things to do in Kilkenny
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: A magnificent 17th century Irish merchant's townhouse & garden in the centre of Kilkenny city, open as a museum, garden, genealogy centre, book and gift shop. We open throughout the year: seven days a week in summer, six in winter.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

It's hard for me to imagine that some people were not intrigued by the authentic renovation, historic trappings, self guided tour information and external gardens of Rothe House. It's like sneaking a peek into the medicine cabinet of a guy who can afford a better routine shaver than most can ever consider. After awhile churches and castles as well as many smaller museums take on a same coldness, a repetitive, "It's ok, I guess" status, but in the Rothe House, I could feel the warmth of a home and a decidedly entrepreneurial family, living from day to day almost seven centuries back in time in somewhat enviable comfort.

While we were there, the massive and interesting upper "attic" roof and beneath were being fortified and brought back to life, which was fascinating to watch. From room to room, there were interesting period piece appointments, and it's clear that the staff is working hard to continually refine smaller problems which in no significant way minimize the impact of a visit well spent in Rothe House.

Thank preglad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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262 - 266 of 382 reviews

Reviewed October 27, 2013

Self guided tour allows you to work at your own pace. Some items in the display are not directly related to the house these could be replaced with more relevant material. The day we were there a gentleman was in costume awaiting a street tour so that he could interact with them out the window. He then ran off to change costume and meet them at another point on their walk.
This sort of guide would really add to the experience of visitors. Garden is a little gem but needs time to mature - the ducks must have been shy because we didn't see them.

Thank Nosealegs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

While the structure is interesting, the museum failed to tell the story of it's inhabitants. The key to a museum like this is for it to 'come alive,' so that one can imagine the lives of the different families. There was no audio guide, the reading placards were dated, the exhibits seemed from a distant time. On a different note, it was a challenge for our party to negotiate the many stairs. The elevator to the garden was not working when we were there. In sum, it seemed like a lost opportunity. The museum could benefit from a professional face lift.

Thank tonytuna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RotheHouse, Manager at Rothe House and Garden, responded to this reviewResponded October 29, 2013

Dear Tonytuna

Thank you for coming to visit Rothe House & Garden recently. I'm really sorry that you were disappointed with your visit, and felt that the property did not live up to your expectations.

You are correct in your comment - 'the museum could benefit from a professional facelift'. The house is owned by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, a group of volunteers who saved it from certain destruction in the 1960s. Over the past fifty years they have worked extremely hard to ensure the conservation of the property, and in fact are now in the final stages of this work. Over the next six months, a new exhibition display will be installed into the house, which will tell the story of Kilkenny in the 17th century, and the Rothe family who lived here during that period. The exhibition will be complemented by a café and new gift shop, and visitors will get to experience that period through the use of re-enactors, and costumed guides.

As you will appreciate, this is a costly exercise, and while we are supported by local and national government authorities in this capital project, there is still a substantial sum of money to be raised to ensure the completion of the project. As a volunteer organisation, it takes time to raise this money.

At the same time we are endeavouring to keep the house and garden open to the public, so that we can maintain an income and ensure our success.

Once again, thank you for visiting us, and for taking the time to make a comment on TripAdvisor. We hope to see you again in the future, when we hope you will have a more fulfilling experience.

Kind regards

Roisin McQuillan
CEO
Rothe House & Garden

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

This place has all the ingredients to become world class, but one can see the neglect in the garden, and in the note we were given. the house deserves better displays which reflect the house instead of costumes which are out of period.

Thank sylvie k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RotheHouse, General Manager at Rothe House and Garden, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2013

Dear sylvie k

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our site on TripAdvisor. We welcome all reviews - even those making negative comments. I'm really sorry that you weren't satisfied with your visit to us. Your comments about our garden were harsh, and while it may not be looking its best at the moment, some of that is due to the time of year, as plants die back and the garden is prepared for the winter. Our gardener works hard to maintain the garden throughout the year but she does work on her own for the most part.

We are indeed a work in progress, and this year will see the culmination of years of work on our Conservation project, with the installation of a new exhibition display, gift shop and coffee shop.

As you are aware, the house & garden is owned by the local Archaeological Society, and as such funding is scarce for our projects. We are reliant on visitors, such as yourselves, to keep the house open to the public, and we really appreciate that you came to visit us.

We hope to see you again on your next visit to Kilkenny, and trust that you will have a more positive experience with us then.

Once again, thanks for your comments.

Roisin McQuillan
CEO

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

In a city full of medieval sites, Rothe House is a rare example of how the merchant middle class lived in this era. The self-guided style is great allowing the visitor to linger. The restored garden is unique among most medieval sites.

Thank penandpalate
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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