BRLSI at 20

The BRSLI in Queen Square.
The BRSLI in Queen Square.

Bath’s Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square is currently celebrating 20 years of promoting the Arts and Sciences in Bath.

It was founded in 1824 and occupied a grand building on Terrace Walk until that was demolished in the 1930’s for a road improvement scheme, when the Institution moved to its present site.

In 1940 the Admiralty requisitioned the building and all the displays were dismantled and stored. By the time the premises were vacated the Institution had been dissolved.IMG_3399

The collection was given away or sold and the building became the City Reference Library. BRLSI registered with the Charity Commission as an educational charity in 1968, and space was made available for displays on the second floor. In 1988 The Friends of BRLSI was formed to foster the revival of the Institution.

In 1993 Avon County Council moved the Reference Library into the new Podium building and vacated the 16-18 Queen Square premises.

IMG_3396 In September 1993, through the Charity Commission, the Institution and the freehold of the premises were transferred to the trusteeship of BRLSI Trustees. The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution was reborn.

There is rarely a day goes by  without at least one lecture to attend in the building and that’s where the city’s revised parking charges are causing problems. Recent increases are not being welcomed by supporters of the BRLSI  who come in by car!

The Institution has voiced its concerns to B&NES and was not too happy with the reply it received from the Council’s Parking Services Department.

It spoke of ‘difficult decisions’ but confirmed that the £1.50 after 6pm tariff had been removed from the Council’s car park pricing structure at Avon Street and Charlotte Street car parks.IMG_3401

‘We do have a number of short stay car parks that you can park in, for example Kingsmead Square, Saw Close, Claverton Street….. and charge at £1.60 per hour and stop charging at 8pm.’

‘After 6pm you can park for free on street on single yellow lines (please check surrounding signage for exceptions). You can also park in the resident’s zones for free after 7pm.’

The spokesperson hoped this would not discourage members ‘from visiting the city in the evening.’

There’s much more information on the BRSLI website at