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BATH ASSEMBLY ROOMS

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The Bath Assembly Rooms were designed by John Wood the Younger and opened to the public in 1771. They were originally known as the New or Upper Rooms, built as a consequence of the expanding upper part of town and so called to distinguish them from those in the lower part of town. They were built as a place for Bath society to meet and socialise, however after the town's revival as a spa resort in the late 19th century use of the Rooms declined.

In 1921 the Ballroom became a cinema and the Tea Room was converted to use as a saleroom and market. In 1931 the National Trust took ownership of the building and, after restoration, it reopened in 1938. Just four years later the Assembly Rooms were completely gutted by incendiary bombs which fell on Bath during the Baedeker Blitz. Restored for a second time, the building opened in 1963. A final major restoration programme was carried out in 1988-91 after the collapse of the Ball Room ceiling.

The building is of a U-shaped plan, with the main entrance to the west and has been constructed from Bath stone. The entrance façade is symmetrical with a single storey, pedimented entrance portico to the centre, flanked by three bays on each side that are of two-storeys. The Ballroom constitutes the entire north block and features seven pedimented windows facing Bennett Street. To the centre of the eastern façade is a large, octagonal room that was built as a card room. On the south side is the Tea or Concert room, as well as smaller public rooms. At first floor level of the south façade are nine pedimented windows placed below smaller, square windows.

The Assembly Rooms are let to the Bath and North East Somerset Council and have housed the Fashion Museum since 1963.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the Historic England website.