York Assembly Rooms

Jane Austen would feel at home here

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The Assembly Rooms are a reminder of York’s flourishing as a stylish Georgian town in the eighteenth centre.
The Rooms were begun in 1730 and first used in 1732. It is one of the earliest examples of buildings built in the neo-classical style in Georgian England, inspired by Palladio’s take on Roman architecture.

The Georgian city became the fashionable centre of the north of England, and this building was to be the home of assemblies (= dances), card-playing and other social events. (It was opened around the time of the first horse-racing in York, another Georgian passion.)

The outside is plain, and features a stone portico of four columns with ionic capitals. This contrasts with the interior which is a riot of gold leaf, decorated stone columns, crystal chandeliers and marble.  

Tip  As the building now houses a restaurant, this provides an unusual atmosphere for a pizza. (The restaurant is called ASK). Don’t be put off entering by the fact that it is now used commercially, as the building’s owner (York Conservation Trust) maintains public access as part of the usage agreement. A good place to view is from the upstairs balconies.

TIME Allow 1-2 hours

NEARBY  Information Office, Betty’s, StonegateLibrary, Museum Gardens, Minster

At A Glance

Blake Street
York YO1 8QG
( 44) 1904 637254


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