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Pictures of Bath Assembly Rooms

a Historic Building in the town of Bath, in the county of Somerset

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About Bath Assembly Rooms

Bath's magnificent 18th century Assembly Rooms were opened in 1771. Known as the New or Upper Rooms they were designed by John Wood the Younger, the leading architect in the West Country. This fine set of public rooms was purpose built for an 18th century form of entertainment called an ‘assembly’. These rooms in Bath are where a large number of guests met to dance, play cards and listen to music – or simply to sip tea, walk around socializing and flirting with others. There are four rooms in all; the Ball Room, the Tea or Concert Room, the Octagon Room (which links all the rooms together), and the Card Room. The Ball room is the largest 18th century room in Bath. Balls were held in it at least twice a week, attracting up to 1200 guests at a time. The high ceilings provided good ventilation on crowded ball nights and the windows being set at a high level prevented people on the outside from looking in. The Octagon Room is dominated by the portrait of the first Master of Ceremonies at the Assembly Rooms, Captain William Wade. Richard ‘Beau’ Nash who was Bath's most famous master of ceremonies never knew this building as he died in 1761.

The Assembly Rooms were seriously damaged in a bombing raid on Bath in 1942 but were rebuilt and reopened to the public in 1963. In 1987 part of the Ball Room ceiling collapsed due to a failure in the new plasterwork. The Rooms underwent further restoration in 1988-91. They are now owned by the National Trust and open to the public when not being hired out for private functions.

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