Assembly rooms, located at various venues around the town, were one of the main focal points of the social life of the town in the Spa period. The original assembly rooms were in the Royal George Hotel on the lower High Street and the Dolphin Hotel. Both these venues were partially eclipsed in the 1760s by the Long Rooms, established in 1761 at West Quay by local man, John Martin. The Long Rooms became the centre of the town's fashionable entertainment in the spa period, although the Dolphin continued to hold dances; Jane Austen attended balls there in the first decade of the 19th century. In the mid 19th century the Long Rooms suffered from competition from the Royal Victoria Rooms (Archery Rooms), built on Portland Terrace in 1830. The Long Rooms were demolished in the late 19th century, while the Royal Victoria Rooms lasted until 1959.

See also

Further reading:
Southampton Occasional Notes,, by ‘Townsman’, p28 (HS/h)
Southampton Occasional Notes(2nd Series), by ‘Townsman’, p29, 42. (HS/h)
Picture of Southampton, by Philip Brannon, p53-54. (HS/h)


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