Assembly Rooms, Bath | The Fashion Museum

The Fashion Museum is currently closed until Easter 2021. Keep following us for updates and we look forward to welcoming you back soon. Please read here for further information.

Image: The Ball Room Image: The Ball Room Show image info

The Ball Room

Assembly Rooms

The Assembly Rooms are closed to the public. Please read here for information on venue hire.

The Assembly Rooms is one of Bath's finest Georgian buildings. It also houses the Fashion Museum and its internationally renowned collection of fashionable dress.

Entry to the Assembly Rooms is free. However, these Rooms are all available for hire, so please check nearer the time of your visit on 01225 477173 or email us to see if they are open for viewing. For more information on hiring the Assembly Rooms please visit the Venue hire page. There is a café and Fashion Museum gift shop on the ground floor.

The Assembly Rooms were opened in 1771. Known as the New or Upper Rooms, they were designed by John Wood the Younger. The rooms were purpose-built for an 18th century form of entertainment called an 'assembly'. A large number of guests met together to dance, drink tea, play cards and listen to music - or just walk about.

There are four rooms: the Ball Room, the Tea Room, the Octagon Room and a Card Room. You can find out more about the history of the Assembly Rooms on the Bath's Historic Venues website.

Ball Room

This is the largest 18th century room in Bath. Dancing was very popular and balls were held at least twice a week, attracting 800 to 1,200 guests at a time. The high ceiling provided good ventilation on crowded ball nights and windows set at a high level prevented outsiders from looking in.

Tea Room

This room was used for both refreshments and concerts in the 18th century, and was sometimes known as the Concert Room. During the evening entertainments there was an interval for tea, the cost being included in the price of a ball ticket. On Sundays there were public teas when admission cost sixpence per person.

Octagon and Card Room

The Ball Room and Tea Room are linked by the Octagon Room which was originally intended as a circulating space which could also be used for music and playing cards. On Sundays, when cards were not allowed, visitors could listen to the organ, which once stood in the musician's gallery. A new Card Room was added in 1777 but the architect is not known. Today this room is used as a café.

Productions filmed at the Assembly Rooms

Northanger Abbey (1987), Persuasion (1994), Bertie & Elizabeth (2001), Persuasion (2006), The Duchess (2007), Bonekickers (2008)

Download a movie map to discover the famous filming locations in Bath.

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