54 George Street Edinburgh EH2 2LR

Tel: 0131 220 4348

Email: enquiries@assemblyroomsedinburgh.co.uk

2017 is a year worth getting excited about as we celebrate our 230th anniversary!

It was 1781 when a competition was launched to design a new Assembly Rooms for Edinburgh’s New Town, that itself celebrates its 250th Anniversary. Architect John Henderson was selected as winner of the competition and in 1783 the foundations of his revised designs were laid.

The official opening of the Assembly Rooms was of course in 1787, 230 years ago this month. Since then the building has evolved with the times, with major extensions, renovations and technology advances, but has always retained its impressive Georgian grandeur and hospitality.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all the staff, clients, partners, contributors and guests (we estimate over 30million!) for their part in our 230 year history. Ensuring the venues iconic presence in Edinburgh.

Now we look to the future, beginning this year and look forward to the many events and projects we have lined up. Further afield, we wonder what the next 230 years will hold and what our peers will be saying in the year 2247 (and what medium the will be communicating in!). Perhaps virtual reality will allow visitors from across the globe and beyond, and the invention of time-travel will allow us to revisit our opening in 1781!

Exciting times ahead.

 

5 moments in Assembly Rooms’ 230 years of Entertaining Edinburgh

 

1.Hosting King George IV at the Peers Ball and the birthplace of modern tartan (1822)

The Peers Ball at Assembly Rooms was the showcase celebration event for the King’s visit. Sir Walter Scott himself was the organiser and planned to “revive ancient dresses” stating that “no Gentleman is to be allowed to appear in anything but the ancient Highland costume”.

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2.Red Cross depot during First World War (1914-18)

We took on a medical role during the First World War as a Central Red Cross Depot, where volunteers and staff collected aid for the frontline.

 

3.The Simpsons Came to Visit (2000)

As part of the Edinburgh Festival the cast of The Simpsons performed a live script reading at Assembly Rooms, only the second live reading the cast had performed at the time.

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4.Awarding Sir Chris Hoy Freedom of the City (2012)

Scotland’s most decorated Olympian and 11-time world champion Sir Chris Hoy is a shining example to all in sport and beyond. A son of Edinburgh, he was awarded Freedom of the City at Assembly Rooms in recognition of is achievement and contribution.

 

5.The £9.3 million refurbishment (2011)

A little spruce-up is required here and there - we are 230 years old after all! The 2011 refurbishment returned our A-listed building to its 18th century splendour, but with the inclusion of modern technical infrastructure.

 

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Edinburgh's New Town, part of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage area, is 250 years old this year!

In celebration of this milestone and as a signature event in Scotland's Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, an atmospheric lumière experience has been developed, highlighting the city's beautiful Georgian architecture and bringing its original residents back to life, right in the heart of the New Town. 

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The Georgian Shadows event launched on 23 February with an introductory walking tour ending here at Assembly Rooms. After taking in the shadows, guests were welcomed into Assembly Rooms by Georgian stilt walkers before gathering in the ballroom for a champagne and cocktail reception (mixed by our fantastic bar team) to mingle with Georgian characters of the past. Assembly Rooms was the perfect venue as the event marked not only a celebration of the New Town 250 year anniversary but our own 230th anniversary in 2017.

A great many people were in attendance listening to speeches from Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture Convener; Marie Christie, Head of Development at Visit Scotland and Robin Worsnop, Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group. Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh gave the opening speech at Dundas House before our tour set off.

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Shona Clelland, Cultural Venues Development Manager said: “We were extremely honoured to be hosting such a milestone celebration of Edinburgh’s New Town, made all the more special that we are celebrating our own 230th anniversary. A great deal of work and planning has gone into the celebration from many partners including Visit Scotland, ETAG, Essential Edinburgh and Edinburgh Council and it was fantastic having everyone in the room together for the official launch. We were extremely pleased with the responses from everyone and would encourage anyone who hasn’t already to go and see the Georgian Shadows.”

Edinburgh’s Georgian Shadows offers a glimpse into the lives of the original residents, as projections and silhouette bring the Georgians back to life. The event forms a trail through the original Georgian New Town, from St Andrew Square to Charlotte Square. Visitors can admire the city's architectural treasures and look out for the Georgian characters as they explore.

Edinburgh's Georgian Shadows is free (paid tours are available), and taking place every evening between 5:30pm and 8:30pm, until 26th March 2017.

You can get more information on Edinburgh Georgian Shadows here

2017 is worth getting excited about here at Assembly Rooms Edinburgh as we celebrate our 230th anniversary!

It was 1781 when a competition was launched to design a new Assembly Rooms for Edinburgh’s New Town, that itself celebrates its 250th Anniversary. Architect John Henderson was selected as winner of the competition and in 1783 the foundations of his revised designs were laid.

The official opening of the Assembly Rooms was of course in 1787, 230 years ago this month. Since then the building has evolved with the times, with major extensions, renovations and technology advances, but has always retained its impressive Georgian grandeur and hospitality.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all the staff, clients, partners, contributors and guests (we estimate over 30million!) for their part in our 230 year history. Ensuring the venues iconic presence in Edinburgh.

Now we look to the future, beginning this year and look forward to the many events and projects we have lined up. Further afield, we wonder what the next 230 years will hold and what our peers will be saying in the year 2247 (and what medium the will be communicating in!). Perhaps virtual reality will allow visitors from across the globe and beyond, and the invention of time-travel will allow us to revisit our opening in 1781!

Exciting times ahead.

The Edinburgh Sketcher also known as Mark Kirkham, is a local legend, recognised for bringing the capital to life on paper with his sketches. Next month, Mark will be hosting a drawing tour as part of our next Doors Open Day at Assembly Rooms.


We caught up with the man behind the pencil and spoke to him about Assembly Rooms, art and Edinburgh.

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