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by David Nash Ford BA,
History on Britannia
The Assembly Rooms
In Blake Street
The elegant York Assembly Rooms were designed and built by Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, in 1730, and are thought to be the earliest neo-classical buildings in Europe. The main hall is Egyptian in style, being supported by forty-eight massive Corinthian columns, with a clerestory above.
The rooms were used for fashionable balls in Georgian times and feature in Tobias Smollett's novel, 'the Expedition of Humphrey Clinker'. They later fell into disrepair but were fully restored in 1951 as a venue for social and corporate functions. Free group tours are available by special arrangement.
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