The Royal Bath & West of England Society
Established in 1777 by a gathering of philanthropic gentlemen from Bath, The Royal Bath & West of England Society set out to improve and encourage Agriculture, Arts, Manufactures and Commerce in the Counties of Somerset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Dorset and Bristol. That mission is as true today as it was back then.
Instituted at a time at which there was no Governmental involvement in agriculture, the Society, along with its private landowners, scientists and people of politics and public affairs, made a significant, vital contribution to the development of farming practices and other aspects of the rural economy.
In its 75th year the Society introduced what would become the most renowned vehicle for realising its objectives; the Royal Bath & West Show. Now the biggest Agricultural Show in England, it started life as a wandering event, moving between towns and cities in southern England and South Wales, before finding a home at the Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Today the Showground hosts a wide range of events throughout the year; specialist shows which it organises itself and other events organised by third parties.
Along with the specialist shows – the Royal Bath & West Show, The Dairy Show and Grasslands UK – the Society employs a range of activities to deliver its goals; from grants, scholarships and awards to environmental projects and educational days.
Her Majesty became Patron of the Society upon ascending the throne in 1952 and was the first reigning monarch to visit the Royal Bath & West Show when she did so, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1966.