Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust

Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust

At a glance


  • Museums / heritage

Other details

Geographical remit: 


The Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust runs the Museum of Bath Stone.

The stone from the mines and quarries of Combe Down built most of Bath which is why the stone is called ‘Bath Stone’. It has also been used as far afield as Cape Town in South Africa.

With continued extraction of stone, the mines became unstable and have recently been completely filled in with foamed concrete to make them safe. Because there is no longer access to the mines themselves, one of the conditions of the stabilisation funding was that their reclaimed heritage be preserved for generations to come. The Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust was established to fulfill this condition and now runs the Museum of Bath Stone (formerly Ralph Allen CornerStone).

The museum is dedicated to preserving and displaying the heritage that the stone of Combe Down created. It charts the history of the stone from its geological formation to its subsequent use. Inside, the historic and cultural significance of Combe Down is described as well as the influence of the stone on its development.
Our aim is to provide a stimulating environment, accessible and understandable to all ages and levels of education, where all aspects of this heritage can be explored and studied.

The museum hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of related subjects and provides a space for the local community to use for meetings, lectures and classes or other leisure activities.


Through video, touch screens, original artefacts, interactive models and a children’s area, a wide range of subjects is covered from geology and archaeology to engineering and education, from celebrities (William Smith, Ralph Allen, Harry Patch) and ecology to WW’s I and II.  The stories continue through the stabilisation of the underground quarries at the turn of this century to the present day.

The volunteer run museum is open two days a week or by appointment at other times. For the rest of the week it is available for hire by local groups and individuals.

The museum hosts an annual music evening as part of Party in the City, a fringe event of the Bath Music Festival.
There is a monthly ‘Made in Combe Down’ Market selling local arts, crafts and sweetmeats.
Special talks by local historians can be arranged for interested groups (with refreshments).
Users have run watercolour, animation, sewing and Pilates courses and workshops.

The 75 sq.m space offers free WiFi, a 52” screen with HDMI, USB and DVD capability; Velcro loop display wall; a disabled toilet and a small kitchen all on one level to facilitate a multitude of possible uses.

The basement houses the archive of documents, deeds, books and artefacts which are being digitally archived on to the Modes system by the Combe Down Heritage Society.

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