What's on at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution this summer?

What’s on at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution this summer?

19 July 2022

Think you’ve experienced all of Bath’s brilliant museums and galleries? There’s one hidden gem you may not know about, but absolutely mustn’t miss. 

The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution sits on Queen Square, right in the heart of the city and just across from our charming Queen’s View apartment

It’s been open since 1824, although it was previously sited on Terrace Walk until 1932. The current Grade I listed building is a magnificent example of Greek Revival architecture, looking out onto Queen Square. 

The Institution was founded for the promotion and advancement of literature, science and the arts. It is home to an impressive antiquarian library of over 7,000 volumes, including special natural history libraries featuring letters from eminent scientists such as Charles Darwin. 

But one of the best reasons to visit the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution are its exhibits and events, held in the building’s popular museum. There’s always something exciting happening, whether it’s free exhibitions, music events or talks from world-class speakers. The Institution even hosts a number of virtual events, so you can join in the fun online even after your visit has ended. 

If you’re planning a visit to Bath this summer, make a beeline for the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. Here’s our pick of what’s on over the next few months:

Beyond Beastly: Creatures Natural and Imagined

A free exhibition running until Saturday 1st October 

One of many brilliant free events running at the BRLSI, this exciting exhibition explores beasts both fantastical and natural. Expect to see curiosities from the pages of historic books, along with boxes of specimens from the Institute’s collection. 

The Lazy Philosopher’s Guide to Ethics 

Friday 22nd July, 10am to 4pm

A day course featuring accessible lectures and discussion, exploring the philosophical branch of ethics and aiming to tackle the question: ‘how should we live?’. The course will cover essential works from the likes of Aristotle, Kant and J.S. Mill. Tickets start from £48.

Roman Britain’s Pirate King

Monday 25th July, 7.30pm to 9pm 

Find out about Marcus Aurelius Carausius, a little-known ruler of Britain in the mid-3rd century AD, at this fascinating talk by author and historian Simon Elliott. Also part of the discussion will be the enormous hoard of Roman coins found near Frome in 2010, many of which were minted during Carausius’ reign. Tickets start from just £2.  

William Herschel & the universe – a film by George Sibley

Friday 23rd September, 7.30pm to 9pm

One of Bath’s many claims to fame is the discovery of Uranus in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel, from his back garden on New King Street. It was the first ‘new’ planet to be discovered in history, and Hershel’s work shaped modern astronomy as we know it. 

Learn all about the theories, telescopes and observations of Bath’s famous astronomer in this film screening by US-based film director George Sibley. It’s part of H200, the Hershel Society’s celebration of the astronomer on the bicentenary of his death. Tickets start from just £2. 

Bath Children’s Literature Festival 

September 2022

And even once summer is over, there’s plenty to look forward to from the BRLSI. It’s one of the key venues for the Bath Children’s Literature Festival 2022, so expect talks, workshops and interactive events from 23rd September right through to 2nd October.