Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Regency Bath Part IV - Assembly Rooms


First I want to announce that Brides of the West is now available through Amazon. I have lots of work to do to update the links, but you can find it here. Even more exciting!! One of my co-authors has produced a book trailer, which you can see on the sidebar of this blog. Now how cool is that.

As you know, my Mother passed away on Christmas Eve and she and I visited Bath earlier in December. It has taken me a while to go back to my planned blog on that city. Then I decided that since it was a wonderful Mother/Daughter visit and a very happy memory I would continue with the series.

So I hope you will join me as I continue my tour of Jane Austen's Bath.

After the circus, the next place on our itinerary was the Assembly Rooms on Bennett Street, just east of the circus. Designed by John Wood the Younger in 1769. Known as the Upper Rooms they opened in 1771. I was pleased with this picture, because it shows the columned entrance in beautiful bath stone and to the right the outside of "the rooms" themselves. Hallowed halls. Actual rooms where Jane Austen danced. I took some very nice pictures inside too. the first is of the board which shows the layout. Not great quality, but should give you a sense of the organization.





I took a series of pictures of the octagonal card room, just outside the ballroom, but here I show only one. I asked about the chandeliers in the building and they are all originals, except one that had to be replaced, because it fell. I thought this shot, with the chandelier and the balcony above gave a good impression of this room. In this view you can see two window frames, but they are dark. However on each of the sides there are
windows, which do let in daylight, since they have external exposure. And of course you will notice the fireplaces. Essential, to have several for such a large room.

The Assembly Rooms are still used for functions, even though the building is National Trust. I expect it helps with the upkeep. And I should mention that the people looking after it were incredibly friendly and quite happy for me to take all of these pictures.

This picture of the ballroom I took from the web, because it is a lovely professional picture. The columned end of the room would have served a couple of purposes, first the orchestra would have been located on the balcony. Second, the serving rooms were hidden behind the columns on the main floor. My picture is of a peak through that door. Not that I assume that anything behind it is as original, but the space certainly was.
I also took a picture along the side wall and guess what, more fireplaces and more windows. I thought you might like to see it.


Turning back to look at the door through which we entered I discovered yet another balcony. would a young Prince have stood here watching the company? One can only imagine.

I discover that while I have more to show you, I have run out of room for today's blog and so we will have to ramble through more of the Assembly Rooms next time.
Until then, Happy Rambles.