Brimming with atmosphere, history and elegance, the Roman Baths & Pump Room is an incredible setting for any event.
Experience the iconic Roman Baths & Pump Room which has been attracting people to its thermal waters for 2000 years. The multi-award-winning venue may be old, but it’s certainly never boring, providing an unparalleled setting for a variety of contemporary events.
Let us know if you'd like a guided virtual venue visit. We will join you on a virtual tour, answer your questions in real time, and highlight the key points of interest relevant to your event. Email [email protected] to get started.
Our friendly and experienced team will help you every step of the way, from choosing the right venue through to planning, the logistics and of course being there to support you on the day.
At the Roman Baths & Pump Room, you are free to choose your own suppliers, with the exception of a caterer. If you need some inspiration or guidance, we have a list of people and businesses who have worked well in our venues previously.
Please do get in touch if you have any queries or ideas you would like to discuss with the team.
There are a number of spaces available for hire at the Roman Baths & Pump Room perfect for a wide variety of events.
There are smaller rooms available during the day for presentations or private celebrations. In the evening, the museum and Pump Room restaurant spaces are available for parties, performances and filming.
For an exclusive party with wow factor, we can offer anything from quirky bowl food and canapes beside the Great Bath to a sumptuous gala dinner, with wines and Champagne to match.
Perhaps you have a significant anniversary or birthday you would like to mark, or you might want to reward your staff at Christmas. Whatever the reason, those looking for somewhere special to entertain family, friends or colleagues will find our venues both atmospheric and inviting.
For a grand celebration you could hire the whole venue; 300 people can be seated using a combination of the Pump Room, Terrace and Reception Hall. After dinner, guests can move between all three areas - perhaps to enjoy dancing in the Pump Room or to the Reception Hall to use the bar. Adding the Roman Baths for arrival drinks would really set the scene for a fantastic occasion.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
- There are five different spaces within the venue available for private hire.
- All rooms have disabled access.
- All rooms have WiFi access.
- Spaces can be hired individually or the whole site can be exclusively yours.
Party planning & catering
Dreaming of the perfect party? Find out more about how we can help create your perfect event.
Whilst you concentrate on creating your perfect party guestlist, we will complete a full venue and catering checklist including:
- Bespoke room set up requirements in CAD, including furniture, AV and staging
- Timings to guarantee your event flows and guests have a great time
- Supplier logistics
- Accurate guest numbers noting any guest requirements
- Full menu planning with dietary requirements
We can also:
- Help you design a bespoke event tailored to your individual needs, or those of your client
- Recommend trusted AV partners, including those with specialist lighting and sound knowledge
- Suggest additional services and suppliers from photographers to entertainers
Equipment included in venue hire
Included as part of your venue hire fee is comprehensive AV, staging, easels, lecterns and all furniture. Contact us for more details.
At the Roman Baths & Pump Room all food and beverages are provided by our contracted caterers Searcys. Founded in 1847, Searcys cater in a whole host of historic venues, including Blenheim Palace, Inner Temple and Vinters’ Hall. With their excellent reputation, innovative menus, and use of the finest local ingredients, Searcys are the perfect choice for any event.
For parties, Searcys offer a range of options, including canape receptions, bowl food, finger buffets, hot fork buffets as well as three course dinners. Whatever your theme or style, the Searcys team will be happy to discuss your catering requirements to help create a truly special and memorable event.
Last Minute Events
We often have late availability and are experienced at managing bookings with short lead times. Don’t hesitate to contact us with your requirements and we will do our best to help. A short lead time will not compromise the quality of your event in one of our venues.
We are happy to make suggestions for gifts to match your venue – from brooches from the Fashion Museum shop (housed in the Assembly Rooms) to chocolate Roman coins from the Roman Baths gift shop. On larger orders, we can also offer a discount – please ask for details.
With its rich and varied history, this historic and unique venue lends itself perfectly to filming and photography shoots.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
Filming planning information
Bath is often used as a location for filming and the city is renowned for being film friendly.
The city is lucky to have a dedicated film office who are happy to assist with sourcing locations and suppliers and assisting with logistic arrangements such as road closures. Our team are experienced in working with film crews and location managers.
Please note, at the Roman Baths & Pump Room access times are usually limited to outside of museum and restaurant opening hours – please check your requirements with a member of the team.
For more information about filming and photography options, please speak to our helpful team.
The Roman Baths & Pump Room has a long association with concerts and entertainment and this whole venue has an incredible ambience that will enhance your event.
A performance in the grand Pump Room or an atmospheric concert alongside the Great Bath will certainly attract the crowds.
Venue plan, pricing & capacities
- There are three different spaces within the venue ideal for concerts and performances.
- All rooms have disabled access.
- All rooms have WiFi access.
Concert & performance planning & catering
Our experienced team will help you plan bespoke room and seating layouts to suit your style of event. Staging and chairs are included in the hire fee, but we request that you arrange your own lighting, crew, publicity and ticket sales. If you need help in sourcing suitable suppliers, please look at our services and suppliers list, or let us know, we’d be happy to make suggestions.
If you are holding a ticketed event at one of venues, we can support your marketing and publicity via our social media channels and e-newsletters.
For more information about hiring the venue, please call 01225 477786 or enquire with the team.
Discover the rich history of the Roman Baths where the continuous gush of hot mineral water, bursting from the ground, has always been a subject of wonder.
Or find out more about the Pump Room, Bath's most iconic 18th century building.
Roman Baths history
The water we see in the Baths today fell as rain on the Mendip Hills many hundreds or even thousands of years ago. It percolates deep down through limestone aquifers, heated by the earth's core and raising the temperature to between 64 -96 degrees. Under pressure the heated water rises to the surface at 46 degrees along fissures and faults through the limestone beneath Bath.
By the first century AD this part of Britain was occupied by an Iron Age tribe called the Dobunni. They believed that the hot spring was sacred to the Goddess Sulis who was thought to possess curative powers. In AD43 the Roman armies invaded Britain and by AD75 they had built a new religious spa complex around the thermal spring and the settlement then grew as a centre for health and pilgrimage. It was named Aquae Sulis meaning ‘the waters of Sulis’. To keep good relations with local people the Romans were sensitive to their gods and goddesses and the goddess worshipped at the temple here was known as Sulis Minerva combining Celtic and Roman elements.
The Romans built the baths using the 1.3 million litres of naturally-heated water that rose to the surface naturally each day. The baths combined healing with leisure and water was channelled through the baths using lead pipes and lead lined channels. Even the baths were lined with lead. People came from far and wide to bathe in the waters and worship at the temple.
In the fourth century, barbarian raids from Northern Europe and Ireland and political instability in the Roman Empire made trade and travel increasingly difficult. The number of visitors to Aquae Sulis declined, and at the same time flooding from the River Avon resulting from poor maintenance meant black mud began to cover everything. The Temple buildings collapsed and the roofs of the baths eventually crashed into the growing swamp.
By the twelfth century the King’s Bath, formed within the shell of the Roman reservoir chamber, was enclosed within the precincts of the post- Roman monastery. Medical practice promoted bathing in the thermal waters to cure ailments as belief in its power re-emerged in the legend of the prehistoric Prince Bladud: in the ninth century BC, it was said Bladud contracted leprosy but was cured by the thermal waters of Bath.
In the late seventeenth century doctors began recommending drinking the water as a remedy for internal conditions and the first Pump Room, opened in 1706, placed drinking prescribed quantities of the water at the heart of the emerging spa culture.
In 1878, the city surveyor architect Major Charles Davis, worried by a leak from the King's Bath spring, decided to explore the ground around it. In doing so he found Roman remains and by 1880 had uncovered large parts of the Great Bath. The site was opened to visitors in 1897 and throughout the 20th century was progressively extended, notably with the east baths in the 1920s and later when the Temple Precinct was excavated beneath the Pump Room in 1981-83. A new learning centre will be opened up for the public in an area of Roman remains to the south of the site, where several underground vaults and tunnels lead into some currently inaccessible remains from the Roman bath house and town.
Pump Room history
The practice of drinking the thermal waters of Bath only began in earnest in the later seventeenth century. It became necessary to install a pump to allow patients to have access to the water directly from the spring and in the first years of the eighteenth century a doctor, William Oliver, persuaded the Bath Corporation to erect a building where the drinkers could be sheltered. This is the origin of the first Pump Room completed in 1706. As the popularity of the spa grew in the 18th century the Pump Room could no longer accommodate the fashionable crowds and invalids so extensions and improvements were made to the building.
In the later eighteenth century, as more and more families came to Bath to take the waters, the Pump Room needed further work. In 1784 a lavatory was installed but then An Act of Parliament was obtained establishing Improvement Commissioners to improve the city centre and the architect, Thomas Baldwin, was appointed by them. Baldwin built New Private Baths adjacent to the Pump Room and in 1790 began work to build an entirely new one. Despite delays arising from Baldwin’s personal bankruptcy and dismissal, the project was completed by a new architect, John Palmer, in 1795 when it was opened by the Duchess of York. The wider scheme re-ordered the local streets, sweeping away medieval alleys and before his dismissal Baldwin completed Bath Street connecting the Pump Room to the two smaller springs known as the Hot Bath and the Cross Bath.
The Pump Room continued as a fashionable meeting place to promenade and take the waters. Jane Austen observed people and fashions from within the Pump Room, which features in her two novels ‘Northanger Abbey’ and ‘Persuasion’.
In 1897 John Brydon built another extension to the Pump Room which housed a Concert Hall, the present day Roman Baths Reception Hall, undoubtedly the finest Victorian interior in Bath. Mary Shelley stayed at 5 Abbey Church Yard which was demolished to make room for the Reception Hall and it is thought that this is where her novel Frankenstein was written.
During the Victorian and Edwardian periods, the Pump Room was heavily furnished and during World War II it became a restaurant and fortunately escaped damage in the Baedeker air raids on Bath in 1942. Many interesting historical figures have visited the Pump Room and taken the waters including Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Buffalo Bill and Haile Selassie, not to mention present day royalty and celebrities.
Today, the Pump Room is a very popular venue for day time refreshments, and is also used for special occasions, corporate hospitality, concerts, weddings and as a favourite rendezvous for both local people and visitors to the city.