Assembly Rooms, Bennett Street, City Centre, Bath
The Assembly Rooms are a Grade I mid-18th century set of assembly rooms by John Wood the Younger, situated within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The building was formerly in occupation as part of the Fashion Museum but is currently closed to the public. The building occupies a prominent four-sided frontage within the streetscape, set back from the adjacent residential terraces on Alfred Street and Saville Row, and is comprised of two rectangular north-south wings flanking the central Octagon, with a reduced two storey extension to the easterly rear. The current principal entrance is located in the west elevation, although historical access was originally enabled via the infilled colonnade along the north and west elevations (Bath in Time, A. Woodroffe 1829). Due to the grandiose proportions, scale, and Neo-classical design of the Assembly Rooms, they are recognised as one of Bath’s key public buildings within the setting of a number of the City’s grand ‘ensemble’ set pieces, contributing positively to the Georgian Town Planning and Architecture OUV of the World Heritage Site.
We are supportive of the proposed general maintenance works to the exterior of the building, to include stone repairs as well as works to the roof to replace the existing underfelt, relay slates, and replace cracked/damaged slates with like-for-like matching Welsh slate to ensure the roof is suitably weatherproofed. Works to address areas of identified material deterioration are commended; we encourage a programme of ongoing repairs, following the ‘stitch in time’ approach, to ensure that smaller issues are not allowed to develop into more substantial problems in the future.