Bath Assembly Hall, Royal Leamington Spa, UK

Horace Bradley
Date Built
Spencer Street
The Bath Assembly Hall opened in 1926 as a Palais de Danse, part of a growing trend of dance halls across the country.  The Hammersmith Palais had been the first when it opened in London in 1919.  This one on Spencer Street in Leamington was designed by the Birmingham architect Horace Bradley in the Art Deco style.  The Leamington History website says that, "Many patrons went to the Palais at least two evenings a week and to tea dances at the weekends. The Old Time dances regularly attracted over 200 people.  The statue on top of the building originally held a globe which was illuminated. The inside of the Palais was lit by a large mirror ball and it has a specially designed sprung floor."

The building is Grade II Listed and when listed it was described as featuring, "... Red Flemish bond brick and stone with concrete tile roof. Two and three storey. The two storey dance hall is at first floor level above the shop space. .... The entrance front has a taller, symmetrical portion of three bays at left which has a wide, recessed opening to the ground floor with a fascia above. .... To the upper levels there is a prominent architectural display with an ashlar centrepiece which has a recessed triple-window at the centre with a large fanlight, leading out to a bowed balcony with metal balustrade. At either side are tall, shell-headed niches. Heavy brackets support a deep cornice which rises in an arch over the fanlight. Above this centre portion the parapet is also arched and has lettering in relief "THE BATH ASSEMBLY". Below the fanlight is further lettering in relief "1927 . HALL . EST". "

The reason the building was listed was that, "... As a building type the dance hall flourished in the inter-war period of the C20 and survived through to the 1950s and early 1960s. Cultural changes have meant that the great majority have been demolished or considerably altered when adapted for other purposes. This example, with its boisterous classical decoration, expressed inside and out, survives in a highly intact state. Its fa├žade mirrors the decorative style of the interior which has an integrated and fluid plan."

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