Rothe House, built c.1594 by John Rothe Fitzpiers and his wife Rose Archer, is one of the best known Renaissance buildings in Ireland. However, historical records indicate that the site had once been one of the possessions of the Cistercian Abbey of Duiske in Graiguenamanagh. The Cistercian order, the ‘White Monks’ are usually associated with their great abbeys and foundations in rural locations. The question that immediately arises is, what were the Cistercians doing at the Rothe House site in the medieval period?

The full paper, drawn from research undertaken as part of the Rothe House Renaissance Project commissioned by the Rothe House Trust, was published by the Kilkenny Archaeological Society in the latest volume of the Old Kilkenny Review. It explores what the Cistercian monks may have been doing with a relatively small site in the urban centre of Kilkenny City during the medieval period, and how the site could have passed from the ‘White Monks’ into the hands of John Rothe at the end of the sixteenth century.