Bath's magnificent 18th century Assembly Rooms were opened in
1771. Known as the New or Upper Rooms, to distinguish them from the
older Assembly Rooms in the lower part of the town, they were
designed by John Wood the Younger.
This fine set of public rooms was 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, talk and flirt.
There are four rooms: the Ball
Room, the Tea Room (also known
as the Concert Room), the Octagon
Room, and a Card Room.
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 plasterwork, and the Rooms underwent a further scheme of
restoration and redecoration 1988-91.
Today, the building is owned by the National Trust but it is
leased to and managed by Bath & North East Somerset
'Fancy Ball at the Upper Rooms' 1825 print by
'The Concert Room', 1805 print by John