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The Assembly Rooms and Museum of Costume
This museum tells the story of fashion over the last 400 years.
There are more than 150 dressed figures with original clothes, showing the changing styles in clothes for men and women from the 16th century to the present day.
- Museum Visits
Formerly known as the Museum of Costume, the re-branded Fashion Museum continues to feature fashions from the 17th century to the modern day. Here you will find outer and under garments, shoes, accessories from days of olde to new, cutting edge catwalk designs. There is a permanent display and there are always temporary exhibits as well. One of the current (2011) exhibits features wedding dresses from the collections, past and present in honour of this year's Royal Wedding.
The museum is in the same building as the Georgian Assembly rooms and your admission to the musuem also allows you to see the Assembly Rooms where the elite met back in the days when Bath was The IN place to see and be seen in Georgian times. The building is really lovely and inside, the Assembly rooms have high ceilings and elegant plaster work. You can picture crowds wearing high powdered wigs, satin and silk flounces on both men and women with a string quartet playing softly in the background.
The building is fully accessible for people with mobility issues and there's a lift to the Fashion museum in the lower level. I'm hoping to get back during our visit in May but time may not allow it. For anyone with an interest in fashion or history, you will enjoy this museum. I'm not into fashion so much but I do love to watch historical dramas and movies and read historical fiction and seeing the sorts of clothing that is described in books really makes it more enjoyable to picture as I read.
There are audio guides available. You can download and listen to the English guide from the website (see the "Visiting" information. There is a lovely little shop and a cafe on the ground floor. For an adult admission, including the Assembly rooms, cost is £7.25 with discounts for Seniors and children and groups. You can also get a combined ticket with the Roman Baths for £15.50 and can visit just the Assembly rooms for 2 pounds. The family ticket allows two adults and up to 4 children which is more than most family tickets include so that's a good savings. You can also purchase tickets online.
Photography is allowed though most of the costumes are behind glass so using a flash might not be very productive. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos because when I visited the museum in 2003, it wasn't allowed but the maps I've posted here will give you an idea of the location in relation to the rest of the city. You are also a very short walk from the Circus and just a few blocks from the elegant Royal Circus, which feature lovely examples of Georgian architecture.
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