08 March 2011

Assembly Room

St John's House had an open day at the weekend, and the most interesting part of the building is the elegant Assembly Room where wealthy citizens of Winchester would have danced, dined and listened to concerts by the likes of Niccolo Paganini and Franz Liszt who performed here.

A flyer shows details of Paganini's performance in 1832 at the venue

A review in the Hampshire Chronicle newspaper at the time was very appreciative "The well-known and wonderful talent of this highly gifted artist attracted, as we expected, a numerous and fashionable audience. His power over the instrument he professes beggars all description. It must truly be said of him, that on earth we shall not look upon his like again, for he certainly is like nothing earthly"

The room has beautiful chandeliers and original 18th Century stucco plasterwork. Not quite as well known as Paganini and Liszt, but performing during the open day was local pianist David Glynn.


  1. It must be nice to live among such wealthy neighbors and get together at places as elegant as this is. Nice photo of the interior.

  2. The color is lovely. And so are those plaster freizes. It's nice this place has been taken care of for later generations to enjoy!

  3. What an elegant, fancy space! My wife and I could twirl around the room dancing in formal wear....

  4. Yep, it's quite fancy inside. I think it's mostly hired out for functions now, and we don't get anyone as famous as "Paganini" playing Winchester these days!