Purpose built for hospitality and entertainment, the stylish Assembly Rooms have been at the heart of Bath society for over 250 years.
Georgian society would gather here to drink, dance and gamble. Today, the flexible venue layout means that the building lends itself perfectly to a wide variety of modern events.
The Assembly Rooms can be hired for private events through Bath’s Historic Venues until December 2022. From March 2023 responsibility for the venue will transfer to the National Trust, who own the building.
Take a walk through the elegant Assembly Rooms using the virtual tour below.
Let us know if you'd like a guided virtual venue visit. We will join you on a virtual tour, answer your questions in real time, and highlight the key points of interest relevant to your event.
We know that hosting an event has the potential to be a stressful and time-consuming affair.
With our help it can be both enjoyable and hugely rewarding. Our team has extensive experience in organising a variety of events and we will guide you through each stage, ensuring that every detail is covered.
The flexible space at the Assembly Rooms make this venue perfect for many types of events.
If you are planning a large party or celebration, there are few venues in Bath as beautiful as the Assembly Rooms.
Four interconnecting rooms allow guests to move seamlessly throughout the venue, as the Georgians would have done when they attended balls or concerts. With entertainment at the heart of its design, the Assembly Rooms today offer practical, flexible and stunning space - rooms may be used individually or in combination to provide hospitality for 40 to 450 guests.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
Planning & catering information
Dreaming of the perfect party? Find out more about how we can help create your perfect event.
Whilst you concentrate on creating your perfect party guestlist, we will complete a full venue and catering checklist including:
- Bespoke room set up requirements in CAD, including furniture, AV and staging
- Timings to guarantee your event flows and guests have a great time
- Supplier logistics
- Accurate guest numbers noting any guest requirements
- Full menu planning with dietary requirements
We can also:
- Help you design a bespoke event tailored to your individual needs, or those of your client
- Recommend trusted AV partners, including those with specialist lighting and sound knowledge
- Suggest additional services and suppliers from photographers to entertainers
Equipment included in venue hire
Included as part of your venue hire fee is comprehensive AV, staging, easels, lecterns and all furniture. Contact us for more details.
At the Assembly Rooms all food and beverages are provided by our contracted caterers Searcys. Founded in 1847, Searcys cater in a whole host of historic venues, including Blenheim Palace, Inner Temple and Vinters’ Hall. With their excellent reputation, innovative menus, and use of the finest local ingredients, Searcys are the perfect choice for any event.
For parties, Searcys offer a range of options, including canape receptions, bowl food, finger buffets, hot fork buffets as well as three course dinners. Whatever your theme or style, the Searcys team will be happy to discuss your catering requirements to help create a truly special and memorable event.
Last Minute Events
We often have late availability and are experienced at managing bookings with short lead times. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your requirements and we will do our best to help. A short lead time will not compromise the quality of your event in one of our venues.
We are happy to make suggestions for gifts to match your venue – from brooches from the Fashion Museum shop (housed in the Assembly Rooms) to chocolate Roman coins from the Roman Baths gift shop. On larger orders, we can also offer a discount – please ask for details.
The Assembly Rooms host many concerts each year including numerous recitals as part of the annual International Bath Music Festival and Bath Mozartfest.
For concert and performance enquiries please call us on 01225 477786 or fill out our quick enquiry form.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
The Assembly Rooms has four inter-connecting ground floor rooms, providing space for performance and interval drinks.
Performance planning & catering
Our experienced team will help you plan bespoke room and seating layouts to suit your style of event.
Staging, chairs and an area suitable as a green room is included in the hire fee, but we request that you arrange your own lighting, crew, publicity and ticket sales. If you need help in sourcing suitable suppliers, please look at our services and suppliers list, or let us know, we’d be happy to make suggestions.
If you are holding a ticketed event at one of venues, we can support your marketing and publicity via our social media channels and e-newsletters.
Searcys are our contracted caterer at the Assembly Rooms and you can arrange an interval or pre-concert bar facility with them. They can also help if you’d like to arrange a pre-concert dinner or supper package as part of your ticket price.
Searcys can provide a cash or account bar for your concert with a minimum guaranteed spend. Please contact them for further information at [email protected] or on 01225 444477.
For more information or advice, please get in touch with our helpful team.
With its rich and varied history, the historic and elegant Assembly Rooms lends itself perfectly to filming and photography shoots.
Bath is often used as a location for filming and the city is renowned for being film friendly. The Assembly Rooms has featured in travelogues, non-fiction programmes such as the Antiques Roadshow and feature films such as The Duchess. The Assembly Rooms was also used for a key scene in the hit Netflix show Bridgerton.
As well as period dramas, the Assembly Rooms has also featured in contemporary productions, recently appearing in ITV’s McDonald & Dodds.
For further information about filming at the Assembly Rooms and to check available dates, please contact the team.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
Our team are experienced in working with film crews and location managers. The city is lucky to have a dedicated film office who are happy to assist with sourcing locations and suppliers and assisting with logistic arrangements such as road closures.
Contact the team about filming at the Assembly Rooms
The scale and grandeur of the Ball Room at the Assembly Rooms makes it an ideal choice for fashion shows.
With the internationally recognised Fashion Museum housed in the building, the venue offers great synergy for fashion-led events. The multiple rooms available for hire allows plenty of flexibility for changing rooms, refreshments and the show itself.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
Fashion show planning & catering
We can provide all the staging you require for a catwalk and recommend suitable suppliers for lighting and backdrops.
Searcys are our contracted caterer at the Assembly Rooms and they can provide a cash or account bar for your fashion show with a minimum guaranteed spend. Alternatively, a café is located in the building which can be used during the day.
Find out more about the eventful history of the Assembly Rooms, which remains the most elegant meeting place in Bath.
A short history of the Assembly Rooms
For centuries Bath has been a centre of fashion, attracting visitors to its spa and social diversions.
The Assembly Rooms, one of Bath’s finest Georgian buildings, was purpose built in 1771 for a particular 18th century form of entertainment: the assembly; ‘a stated and general meeting of the polite persons of both sexes for the sake of conversation, gallantry, news and play’. Guests would gather in the rooms in the evening for balls, concerts and other social functions, or simply to play cards and socialise.
Scenes such as this feature in the novels of Jane Austen, who lived in Bath from 1801-1805. Her two novels set in Bath, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion both mention the Assembly Rooms, which she called the “Upper Rooms”. Charles Dickens visited Bath on several occasions and gave public readings in the building. Adaptations of several historic novels have also been filmed in the Assembly Rooms, in addition to films such as The Duchess with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.
Since Georgian times, the Assembly Rooms has had a turbulent history. During the nineteenth century Bath lost its pre-eminence amongst the fashionable resorts, such as Brighton, and this decline was reflected in the fortunes of the Assembly Rooms. During the First World War the building was occupied by the Royal Flying Corps and subsequently the Ball Room became a cinema before extensive restoration and redecoration was completed and the building re-opened by the Duchess of Kent in 1938. Unfortunately, only four years later on 25 April 1942 the Assembly Rooms was heavily bombed during the Baedecker raids and reduced to a roofless shell.
Bath’s Assembly Rooms also claims the invention of the ‘screw shot’. Billiards and gambling were popular pastimes and in the early 1800's a dedicated billiards room was built in the Assembly Rooms. In the 1820’s Mr Bentley, proprietor of the tables, developed a new shot, the ‘side twist’, by striking the ball on one side. John Carr, who worked as a marker perfected the stroke and convinced his admirers the secret was to use a special ‘twisting chalk’ thus inventing the screw shot and commercial cue chalk, which was in fact only standard chalk which Carr ground down and sold in small pill boxes for 2s and 6d.
Following further programmes of restoration after the war, the American government in 1950 requested to buy the Assembly Rooms' chandeliers, the finest set of 18th century chandeliers in the world, for the White House. Luckily this was never agreed by the National Trust or Bath City Council and the Whitefriars chandeliers remain in-situ. In 1963, it was decided that the world-famous Fashion Museum be located at the Assembly Rooms and it is now one of the world’s great museum collections of historical and contemporary dress.
After extensive restoration in the 1970s, the Assembly Rooms once again became the grand building that it is today and is now owned by the National Trust and managed by Bath and North East Somerset Council.