Bath 250: A Virtual Conference to Mark The 250th Anniversary of the New Assembly Rooms at Bath - 29th & 30th September 2021

30 September 2021 marks the 250th anniversary of the opening of Bath’s magnificent Assembly Rooms. As the queen of the eighteenth century spas, Bath’s healing waters attracted far more than the seriously ill and the worried well: the town offered the visiting Company luxury, culture, diversion and pleasure. This two-day virtual conference, which will take place on Zoom, takes, as a starting point, the plans for, and the establishment of, the (new) Assembly Rooms and then expands to explore an exciting array of papers by a group of international scholars. Topics include coffee-houses and chocolate-houses, chairmen and undertakers, famous musicians and celebrity politicians, lodging-house keepers and the visiting beau monde, the religion of Wilberforce and the satire of Austen — and far more.


The conference is free, but attendees are asked to register via the link below and obtain a ticket.

Zoom links for the sessions will be supplied closer to the date of the conference.


Separate Registration via Eventbrite will follow for linked evening event on 30 Sept. in the Bath Assembly Rooms to commemorate the opening of the rooms on 30 Sept. 1771. The evening’s entertainment will comprise a Public Lecture, a Historical Introduction to the 1771 RIDOTTO, 18th century dance displays, & a drinks reception.

Note: There will be a registration fee for the in-person event.


Download the Bath 250 Programme and Bath 250 Abstracts.
Conference organisers: Hillary Burlock (QMUL), Elaine Chalus (University of Liverpool), Oliver Cox (TORCH, Oxford), Robin Eagles (History of Parliament), Rupert Goulding (National Trust)