Brand-New Specialist “Bath Stone” Bookshop

Museum of Bath Stone opens rich collection of bath stone and heritage-related titles

The Museum of Bath Stone has launched its very own “Bath Stone Bookshop” and can now boast a fine selection of related titles, for a multitude of interests and interest levels.

In this update and blog post, we will be sharing a selection of our favourites from the collection with you and, highlighting the variety of publications available. Please note that books can be delivered to your door or collected from the museum, with a variety of payment methods available too.

Digging Bath Stone at 512 pages long, is the most comprehensive history on bath stone quarrying completed to date. “In huge detail, and copiously illustrated with a plethora of maps, plans and photographs – many of which are historic and never previously published – this is the story of an industry which once dominated this part of the country and helped to shape both the landscape and the towns, villages and communities it built, and which is still alive today, albeit now using methods which would largely be unrecognisable to the ‘old men’ who dug the stone out of the ground in centuries past. Sadly, David Pollard died before he could see his life’s work in print but this book serves as his testament to an industry he loved and a testament to the man himself.”

Bath Stone Quarries is perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of Bath & Wiltshire’s underground bath stone quarries and wish to explore these in more detail. Compiled by Derek Hawkins, this book features 224 glossy pages and is another classic from the Folly Books collection.

Finished Labour of a Thousand Hands by Lynn Willies, Ianto Wain & Neville Redvers-Higgins is the official publication detailing evidence of human activity in the Combe Down Stone Mines, as recorded and investigated by the archaeologists. This is a great addition to any collection and will be a particularly enjoyable read for those interested in working life below the surface and exploring what was left behind, through the lens of the archaeologists.

A History of Byfield Mine, Combe Down by researcher and professor, Richard T.A. Irving describes his investigation and subsequent discoveries, after his interest was piqued by the rather large hole in his garden…  Living in the former mine manager house, Richard came to learn this hole was actually an important portal into the workings below – a short cut for the Manager and possibly, an easy access route to the pub for the workers. Join Richard on his journey of discoveries in this highly informative text supported by photographs.

The Stabilisation of Combe Down Stone Mines: the saving of a village is a commemorative book documenting the story of the stabilisation of the mines that lie beneath Combe Down village. From 2000 English Partnerships (now the Homes and Communities Agency) began funding Bath and North East Somerset Council to investigate and prepare options for stabilising the mine complex and to carry out Emergency Stabilisation, culminating in 2005 in the award of a grant aid to undertake full stabilisation. By 2009 the 22 hectares of very shallow limestone mine were filled with in excess of 590,000 cubic metres of foamed concrete, the largest project of its kind in the world.” The accompanying DVD contains among other films, “Batworks”, a time-lapse film of the bat preservation areas in Byfield Mine by Rob Franklin.

To complement the bookshop’s new arrivals and pre-existing titles, we are also well-stocked in the Combe Down Heritage Society’s family-friendly Walking Trails, each designed to take you through the village of Combe Down and connect you to its history.

Ralph Allen and his Stone Quarries shares his most notable achievements in successfully quarrying and transporting the stone from Combe Down. The story of Ralph Allen can be explored with an illustrated map detailing this 3km route, highlighting landmarks and evidence of his presence in Combe Down in the first half of the 18th century.

Additionally, you can explore William Smith’s connection to the village of Combe Down with another firm favourite in the Heritage Trails series: William Smith and the landscape of Combe Down. Complete with a photographic map, overlaid with diagrams, information and directions, you can immerse yourself in the story of William Smith and the time he spent here, between 1791 – 1799. Embarking on this trail, you will also discover details of William Smith’s very own bath stone quarrying venture and, what exactly happened when ‘The Father of English Geology’ made attempts to extract his own bath stone…

To purchase any of the items above, please call us on 01225 837439 or, email

For more information on any of the titles mentioned above or, to explore the full list of publications available at the museum, please click here to be redirected to the Bath Stone Bookshop: