Ralph Allen CornerStone

Discover the stories of Combe Down Stone, the material from which the Georgian City of Bath was built and Ralph Allen, the man behind the enterprise. Both are brought to life in the Ralph Allen CornerStone, a dedicated, vibrant community hub and information centre on the site where it all began.

Ralph Allen CornerStone has been designed to complete the legacy of the Combe Down Stone Mines Stabilisation Project and ensure that the history of the Combe Down stone is fully presented. Its functions fall into three main sections:


The stone quarrying heritage lives on through the village and is illustrated through lively digital presentations together with tools and other artefacts retrieved from the mines.


Inspirational interactive educational material continues to be developed and added to by teachers and students and other specialists in fields such as transport, engineering and conservation.


The CornerStone offers a beautiful space well equipped for individual and group study as well as being suited to exhibitions, meetings, classes and film shows.

Opening times

The CornerStone will be closed to visitors until April 2nd. This will be for necessary reorganisation and enrichment of the displays to improve the visitor experience. However, it will still be available for pre-booked group visits and for hire using the contact details below.

The CornerStone is accessible by wheelchair users and has a disabled toilet.

Entrance is free

A small number of books and pamphlets is available for sale. Refreshments are available at local pubs and a quality tea room.


Volunteers always welcome to help our visitors get the most out of the centre.

Can you spare three hours morning or afternoon on Saturday or Sunday? It can be weekly, fortnightly or monthly.

You will always be with at least one other volunteer and be given all necessary training and support. Pop in one weekend for more details or email Jen Morgan for any further information.

Private hire

With seating for 40 people the venue is available for community and corporate hire.

Prices around £10 per hour depending on length of hire.

Please email info@ralphallencornerstone.org.uk for details.

Please help

We are a registered charity and appreciate the generous giving that enables us to continue our work. You can make a donation - however small, all are welcome - via CharityCheckout.  

about Charity Checkout

New Opening Hours

Sunday and Monday 10.00 - 16.00
Also available for visits by appointment.
E: info@ralphallencornerstone.org.uk
T: 01225 837439 and leave a message

Party in the City!

Friday May 19 18.30 - 21.00

Ralph Allen CornerStone is again taking part in the Opening Night of the Bath Music Festival this year called 'JUMP IN'.  
Along with venues all over the City, Ralph Allen CornerStone will have FREE music - some of our favourite regulars and some new sounds from further afield.  Do make time to come along and enjoy the sounds and the company of friends.

There is a licensed bar selling wines and beers to mellow the mood.

We look forward to seeing you. 

Children's Animation Workshop

Friday June 2 12.00 - 15.00
The Snow White Workshop
Come along and transform these armatures into Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Bring them to life using the magic of stop frame animation. Make your very own masterpiece!
£15 per person
Age 6-12yrs

Contact Angela for further information or to book

M: 07787944531
E: angelanimation@hotmail.com

Enhanced DBS (CRB) & Insured

Made in Combe Down

Saturday June 3 10.00 - 16.00
1st Saturday every month

Local artists and artisans work for sale including:

Cards, bangles
Picture frames
Paper engineering
Jams & chutneys
Felt animals in kit form, sock cats and small lollipop cakes for kids
Dog blankets, coats & jumpers
and more

For more details contact Rosemary
T: 01225 833301
E: rosyprint12@gmail.com

Combe Down Exploring Art Group

Meets 1st Tuesday in the month

Next meeting on
Tuesday June 6 from 14.00 - 16.00
Run by Rosemary Simmons
All levels welcome whether you are just starting to draw and paint or have a bit more experience
No fees just a small donation towards hire of the room

For more details contact Rosemary
T: 01225 833301
E: rosyprint12@gmail.com

Catherine Beale Watercolour Workshops

Saturday Watercolour Workshop - Seascapes and holidays17th June
10.30 - 15.00
£80 per day includes refreshments and lunch

Gift vouchers available

Contact Catherine for workshop plan and booking form
M: 07891 409490
E: catherine@catherinebeale.com

Kathy Pearce Sewing Classes

Mornings 10.00 - 12.00 or
Evenings 19.00 - 21.00
Cost £55 for 6 weeks

Courses cover:
- basic machine and hand stitching.
- using a commercial pattern.
- cutting out, tacking and tting
- how to create darts, insert zips and make waistbands.
-finishing seams and hems.

You can bring along your own projects
and sewing machines.
There will be some machines for you to use.
You could also make soft furnishings or
other textile products using a range of
creative techniques.

For more details contact Kathy Pearce:
T: 01225 833317
M: 0750 555 8318
E: cornerstonecraft@gmail.com

Remainder of Stone Mines Commemorative Plates now for sale!

A commemorative plates installation was commissioned to mark the completion of the stabilisation of Combe Down Stone Mines.  Each of the 691 households living over the mines was offered a ceramic plate – one small part of the map – representing not only the individual household but the mined underworld beneath and the creatures to be found there.
Each patterned plate  can be linked to an address.

Surrounding the patterned mine plates are simple lined plates which complete the display wall. Some groups of lined plates depict an animal for a wall display or just to wow your guests!
See Facebook for photos

Of the single print run there are a number of duplicates remaining and these are available for sale.

Patterned Plates - £10 ea
Lined plates - £5 ea, £21 for 6 or £24 for 7

Contact Jen Morgan
E: info@ralphallencornerstone.org.uk
T: 01225 837439 & leave a message and phone number


The Combe Down stone quarries have all but vanished following the stabilisation project. All there is now, just visible in the grass of Firs Field, is a stone circle marking the site of a protective light shaft wall that was removed sometime around 1950.

A project to excavate and restore this stone circle has been initiated.

If you would like to be part of the excavation team, the very first stage in this project scheduled for this summer, please sign up to our Newsletter by sending us your name, contact phone number and email address to


Experience is not necessary; there will be experts on hand to advise and collate whatever we uncover. 

When we have uncovered and can see what is there, there will be professional conservators to protect this historically significant and integral part of Bath’s Heritage.

Do come and join in, or come and watch the excavation progress.

For more background on the heritage of Combe Down contact:
Combe Down Heritage Society       


For more details on the Film Club contact:

Val Lyon
E: val@vallyon.com
M: 07774 113778



The Ralph Allen Stone Quarries Trail

The Ralph Allen Stone Quarries Trail on Combe Down takes you on a tour round all the sites in the village that were important in Ralph Allen’s day. It starts at the Ralph Allen CornerStone, which sits at the top of the face of the original Jones' Quarry at the point where a crane was used to haul stone up and onto a carriage prior to being transported down into the city on the famous railway. From here the trail takes you on the route of the railway, past other key quarry sites and also the workers’ houses and the building that was the Carriage Inn.

Leaflets describing the new trail have been published by the Combe Down Heritage Society and can be purchased at The Darling Deli, Aquarius Estate Agents and Combe Down News - all at the south end of The Avenue.

In the Footsteps of Ralph Allen - is a cross-Bath trail that brings the story of Bath’s Georgian hero alive by joining up the five museums that each have a part of his history to tell.



View Ralph Allen CornerStone in a larger map


How to find us

Combe Down is about a mile south of Bath along Ralph Allen Drive passing the National Trust Prior Park Landscape Garden. Street parking is available throughout Combe Down. The no 2 First Group bus from Bath bus station stops about 20m from the centre.


Ralph Allen CornerStone
54a Combe Rd
Bath BA2 5HZ

01225 837439


CornerStone logo

Our logo represents a lewis - a tool used by stonemasons since Roman times. It was inserted into blocks of stone, so that the stone could then be lifted by means of a crane.

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