Located in the centre of Bath, close to the train station, the Guildhall is a very accessible, convenient and beautiful venue.
The Banqueting Room, one of the most decorative and beautiful Georgian rooms in the region, has been used for important civic events since 1775. Today, this opulent room offers flexible and versatile space for conferences, meetings, or dinners. Unusually for such a prestigious venue, clients can choose their own caterer.
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If you hold an event at the Guildhall you can rest assured that the team will work with you every step of the way, so that your event is just as you imagined it.
The venue has a strong association with local companies and organisations, with many making regular bookings. Our clients include:
The flexible space at the Guildhall makes this venue perfect for a variety of business events.
Conveniently located in the very heart of Bath and only a five-minute walk from Bath Spa train station, the Guildhall is ideal for medium sized conferences or smaller meetings.
Capacities & pricing
When you hold a conference at the Guildhall, our helpful and professional team will support you during the planning process, right through to the day itself.
In the lead up to your conference we will meet with you to discuss your plans so we can agree on a schedule of timings and produce tailored room set-up plans. We will also liaise with your suppliers, and your event manager will oversee their arrival on the day of the event. We can also recommend trusted AV partners, including those with specialist hybrid event knowledge, and suggest additional services and suppliers from photographers to entertainers.
The Guildhall is a grand and flexible venue for drinks receptions and dinners in the heart of Bath.
Capacity & pricing
If you are planning a dinner or reception at the Guildhall, our helpful and professional team will support you during the planning process, right through to the event itself.
Our hire fee includes tables, chairs, staging, and a PA system for speeches. You are welcome to make your own choices when it comes to entertainment, but we are happy to make suggestions as to suitable suppliers. So, if you fancy a photobooth, or even a magician, please just ask.
At the Guildhall there is no in-house caterer, giving you the flexibility to choose your own style and budget. Your caterer can provide all crockery and linens, and should they need more information regarding the kitchen facilities we can speak to them or arrange a site visit. If your caterer doesn’t offer a bar facility, we can also put you in touch with suitable pop-up bar providers. The venue is licensed until 1230am.
Prior to your dinner we will meet with you to discuss your plans so we can agree on a schedule of timings and produce bespoke table plans and room layouts. We will liaise with your suppliers, and your event manager will oversee their arrival on the day. Our personalised service means you can relax and enjoy yourself, knowing that everything will be just as you imagined.
The central location of the Guildhall is a real advantage for exhibition organisers and the venue regularly plays host to vintage sales, craft fairs and art shows.
Capacity & pricing
If you are arranging an exhibition at the Guildhall, our helpful team will be on hand to help you.
Prior to your event we will meet with you to discuss your plans so we can agree on a schedule of timings and produce tailored room layouts. As part of the hire fee we include: trestle tables, chairs and staging if required. You’ll also have an event manager on the day, to ensure that the event runs smoothly. The Banqueting Room is on the first floor, but is easily accessed by a lift, and unloading is possible via the Guildhall car park.
At the Guildhall we operate a listed caterer scheme, where you may choose from a selection of caterers or choose your own.
All caterers on our list below are familiar with the Guildhall and its kitchen and have been endorsed by previous clients. Alternatively, you are also free to use a caterer of your choice who meets our terms and conditions. If you decide to use a caterer who is not one of our listed caterers, you will incur a hire fee for use of kitchen and associated equipment.
Please note, although the kitchen is well kitted out with ovens and hot cabinets, your chosen caterer will need to bring in crockery, glassware and linen.
A short history of the Guildhall
Guilds, the trade associations which controlled and managed trades and crafts in English towns, rose to importance during the 12th and 13th centuries. Their pre-eminence was such that, with time, a guildhall came to symbolise town Government in England. In Bath, the power of the guilds had waned by the 16th century but the Bath Guildhall remains a centre of local government today.
The earliest Guildhall in Bath was situated to the east of the present High Street. By the 1620s it was relocated to the upper storey of the market house in the middle of the High Street. By the mid-18th century, this Guildhall had become inadequate and its island site obstructed the traffic. In 1760, the corporation resolved that ‘the Town Hall be newly built in a more commodious place’. The central block of the present building was built between 1775–1778 by Thomas Baldwin in the Palladian ‘country house style’ prevalent at the time.
The Banqueting Room at the heart of Baldwin’s Guildhall is without doubt the finest Georgian interior in Bath, in the style of Robert Adam and boasting three magnificent four-tier chandeliers by Thomas Lovell of Bristol and a steeply raked musicians’ gallery over the central doorway. It was the Corporation’s response to the privately financed Assembly Rooms recently completed in the upper in 1771. In the Guildhall, the Corporation conducted its business in the adjacent council chamber and could throw open the doors to the Banqueting Room where it would entertain its guests, overlooked by portraits of civic worthies and members of the royal family.
Between 1893 and 1896 the Guildhall was greatly expanded by Scottish architect John McKean Brydon. A dome was added to the existing 18th century building and extensions were added to the north and south, embellished with figured friezes depicting the activities to take place in them. The north wing housed the Bath School of Art and Technical School and its frieze contains figures representing the arts, science and learning, while the south wing, which housed a new council chamber, offices and the courts, sports representations of justice and administration.