Edinburgh World Heritage

The Assembly Rooms

Find out the hidden stories behind the Assembly Room's impressive facade.

The building's beginnings
On 13th January 1787, the doors of the Assembly Rooms opened to the public for first time, on the occasion of the Caledonian Hunt Ball.

I Do
As you are sitting enjoying your meal, it is not hard to imagine that this spectacular room was the perfect setting for blossoming love and romance.

Fowl Play
In 1785 in the un-finished building site of the Assembly Rooms kitchens a cock-fight was staged between the counties of Lanark and Haddington.

Making an Entrance
When the Assembly Rooms opened, guests arrived not by black cab but by sedan chair.

Hogmanay 'In the Mignight Hour'
The Assembly Rooms have long been a place of celebration, and this includes the annual Hogmanay parties.

Travelling in Style
The sedan chairs that brought visitors to the Assembly Rooms were well equipped for carrying people around the hilly city landscape of Edinburgh.

Looking Good
During the 19th century girls from high society Scotland would attend balls at the Assembly Rooms in the hope to find some decent marriage material.

Fit for a King
In July 1822 it was excitedly reported that King George IV was to visit the Scottish capital that summer.

A Regular Customer
Love can sometimes appear in the most unlikely places. Whilst training in home economics at Atholl Crescent’s Edinburgh College of Domestic Science, Elisabeth Cormie and a group of her fellow students were asked if they wanted a summer job...

A 'Shelley Business'
In 1811, after allegedly attending as few lectures as possibly at Oxford University, Percy Bysshe Shelley published the pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism, causing outrage amongst university administration.

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