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Bath Town Guide
|Bath's Assembly Rooms are located on Bennett Street, just off from The Circus. These rooms were the hub of Georgian high society, and are where many a dazzling ball or concert was held.|
These are the only remaining Assembly Rooms in Bath, although at one time there were three such buildings - the others were in the lower town.
The Bennett Street Assembly rooms were built in 1769 by famed Bath architect John Wood the Younger, and the classical style is typical of buildings of this period.
The main ballroom is over 30 meters long and is the biggest 18th century room in the whole of Bath. Set off from this room, the Assembly Rooms also contain a Tea Room, a Card Room and the Octagon Room.
|The rooms are particularly renowned for their beautiful set of original chandeliers, one of which is pictured to the right.
|During the late 18th century balls were held at these Assembly Rooms at least once a week, with those who weren't dancing playing cards in the Card Room. Bath's balls became famous all over the country and the rich and famous flocked to them.|
By the middle of the 19th century, however, the flamboyant social scene of the Georgian era had started to decline and so the Assembly Rooms gradually fell into disuse.
By the 1920s they had become a cinema, but then in the 1930s they became a National Trust property and so a long period of restoration was begun.
The rooms were almost destroyed in the war for they were hit by German bombs, but extensive restoration work since the war has brought them back to their former glory.
Today the Assembly Rooms are open to the public daily from 10am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Admission is free.
Various concerts and dances are held in the Ballroom every year, and these are well worth attending for the sumptuous surroundings go a long way to recreating the splendour of Georgian society.
In the basement of the Assembly Rooms there is the excellent Museum of Costume.
Museum of Costume
Bath's Museum of Costume is located in the basement of the Assembly Rooms in Bennett Street.
There is clothing from all around the world and from as far back as the 16th century, but as you would expect the museum specialises in attire from Bath's Georgian era.
As well as the clothing, there are also exhibitions on accessories and hair styles - look out for some spectacularly flamboyant wig creations!
The museum is open from 10am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 11am to 5pm on Sundays. Admission costs around £3.60 for adults. Guided tours are available.
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