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Lower Assembly Rooms

What was it?

This was Bath's first assembly house "erected during 1708 by an unnamed builder for Thomas Harrison, who had been encouraged by Beau Nash to build the rooms as a profitable speculation" [Ison 1980]

Where was it in Bath?

It stood on the east side of Terrace Walk overlooking Harrison's Walks "a formal garden bordering the river which for many years was a favoured resort of fashion"  [Ison 1980]. The building was largely destroyed in a fire on December 21st 1820. It was rebuilt to house the Bath Royal Literary Institution but was finally demolished in 1933 as part of a road-widening scheme.
Location of plaque in Grand Parade

The plaque is fixed to the parapet above Parade Gardens, which occupy the site of Harrison's Walks:
Plaque at Grand Parade

The text reads

"This tablet marks the site of Harrison's Assembly Rooms where Richard (Beau) Nash presided as Master of Ceremonies 1708 - 1761
Here also stood 1823 - 1933 The Royal Literary and Scientific Institution inaugurated by the poets Moore, Crabbe and Bowles
Now transferred to Queen Square"

Location map of plaque:
Lower Assembly Rooms plaque location map



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