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Monday, July 19, 2010

Assembly Rooms Bath

The elegant Georgian Assembly Rooms in Bath were completed in 1771 after two years in construction. Designed by architect John Wood the Younger, who was also the man behind Bath's Royal Crescent and The Circus, the building was at the very heart of fashionable society for the middle and upper classes in the city.

The building has four function rooms: a 30m-long ballroom, the most spacious Georgian interior in Bath, a card room, a tea room and the octagon, also mainly used as a card room.

The well-to-do would gather for balls and card games and the Assembly Rooms were a place where young people could meet in the hope of finding a suitable marriage partner. The Assembly Rooms are mentioned in two of Jane Austen's novels - Northanger Abbey and Persuasion - as well as Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers. Dickens is also known to have given public readings in the Assembly Rooms.

The building is now owned by the National Trust and houses the Fashion Museum, a collection of over 30,000 articles of clothing from the 16th century to the present day, begun by Doris Langley Moore (1902–1989), who presented her collection to the city of Bath in 1963.

The museum also displays the Dress of the Year collection from the 1960s to the present day featuring the work of some of the world's top fashion designers including Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Mary Quant and Donatella Versace.

The Assembly Rooms can still be hired for private functions and the University of Bath has used the space for its degree ceremonies.

Assembly Rooms
Bennett Street
BA1 2
Tel: 01225 477 789
Google map of the Assembly Rooms

Admission free. Admission charge to the Fashion Museum.

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