Bath Assembly Rooms

In Eighteenth century England , any town of any note had assembly rooms, for dinners and balls, but also music recitals, public meetings and lectures. Bath had two in competition with each other by mid century, but the fashions changed, people had parties with friends and they fell into decline. The surviving, upper rooms are now used for public events, with the museum of costume in the basement.

My beautiful pictureThe lovely Bath stone Assembly rooms

My beautiful pictureI love these Chinoiserie mirrors, used as much to amplify the candle light as for their showing off the frocks.

My beautiful picture

A beautiful, light airy space

My beautiful pictureAll set up for a big night out. Not much different to the past.

My beautiful pictureThis is a portrait of Christopher Anstey, author of the wonderfully satirical New Bath Guide describing characters such as Captain Cormorant. It was one of the first best sellers and made him a fortune and a celebrity. The painting is by John Simmons, probably the Bristol artist who did a lot of work on their Theatre Royal.

My beautiful pictureThis is the portrait of John Palmer, Proprietor of the Bath and Bristol Theatres Royal, improver of coaches which led to the invention of the Royal Mail, and also a major property developer. Looks rather childlike for such a successful and powerful man

My beautiful pictureRather a miserable looking, unshaved version of a truly great man – the ingenious John Padmore who built the railway that brought Ralph Allen’s Bath stone to the river Avon, so was incredibly important in building the city and its fortunes. He also built the Great Crane in Bristol and was often consulted when old buildings were falling down, probably a lot more, but such men were rarely remembered.

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