Stand by to celebrate our Bicentenary year


Our Bicentenary celebrations kick off in mid January and run for 12 months! From celebrity talks, festivals and exhibitions to a summer weekend of family fun, we hope there’ll be something for everyone.

And we’ll not just be looking back over our own 200 years at the centre of Bath. We’re celebrating the life and culture of the city as a whole during those two centuries, and also our hopes for the institution’s future as Bath’s premier cultural hub.

We will share more details through the newsletter and website in the coming days, but early highlights at Queen Square include ‘Brilliantly Engineered 2024’ at the end of February. This showcase of the local high-tech engineering sector offers workshops for families on Saturday and Sunday, and for schools on Monday and Tuesday.

Our Bicentenary exhibition, ‘The World Revealed’, opens on 23 March, drawing on our world-class collections, including objects that have not been on public display before. The month also sees the Extraordinary Women symposium on 9 March, with associated evening talks on 1, 4 and 15 March, to celebrate pioneers of science, art, music, literature and philosophy.

We’ll be laying on outdoor activities for families in the summer, and autumn events include the ‘Bath Taps into Science’ festival and a special history weekend.

It was in January 1824 that the original subscribers stumped up their financial contributions and a new Literary and Scientific Institution began taking formal shape. Meanwhile a purpose-built edifice, with grand portico, library, exhibition and lecture halls, was arising from the burnt-out shell of Bath’s Lower Assembly Rooms near the Abbey.

In January 1825 the building opened and Bath Literary and Scientific Institution (the ‘Royal’ was added later, under the patronage of William IV) held its first lecture – hence our 12 months of celebrations.

The move to Queen Square came in 1932 when the institution’s original home was demolished to make way for road improvements. Then our building was taken over by the Admiralty during and after World War II and the collection had to be hurriedly stored elsewhere. When the Government gave the building back, much of the collection returned to form the Bath Geology Museum, but the institution had too few members to operate.

However, it was revived and a new charity established in 1992 and, thanks to the enthusiasm of its volunteers, Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution has vigorously survived to celebrate its 200th anniversary. We hope you will join us for the celebrations.



BRLSI News, General News
, , ,