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

10:00 – 16:00 on Sundays and by appointment at other times (until 31.12.16).

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

Exhibition: Somerset & Dorset Railway

September 4 - October 16
Sundays 10am - 4pm or by appointment
Entrance Free

Commemorating the Somerset & Dorset Railway which closed 50 years ago this year. Did you use it? Work on it? Record your own memories of the line.

Exhibition: Combe Down Exploring Art Group artists work


Saturday October 22 - Sunday October 30
Daily 10.00 - 16.00

Entrance Free

Talks by artists to accompany exhibition
18.30 - 19.30:
Sunday:  tba
Wednesday:  tba
Friday:  tba
Entrance Free

Exhibition: Friends of Jewish Burial Ground

Monday October 31 - Friday November 18 10.00 - 16.00 Daily
Entrance Free

History of Combe Down exhibition

To October 16 then from November 6
Sundays 10-4pm or by appointment
Entrance Free

Showing the development of the village over the last 2000 years

Kathy Pearce Sewing Classes

Thursdays September 15 to October 20
10.00-12.00 or 19.00-21.00

The course will cover:
- basic machine and hand stitching
- using a commercial pattern
- cutting out, tacking and fitting
- how to create darts, insert zips and make waistbands
- finishing seams and hems
You can bring along your own project and machine or there will be some machines for you to use.
You can 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

Combe Down Exploring Art Group

Meets 1st Tuesday in the month after a summer break - Next meeting on
Tuesday October 4 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

Tuesday 18 October 10.00 - 15.00 Landscapes: - Bath Slopes
£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

Children's Animation Workshop

19 December 12 - 3pm
The Grinch
Come along and make your very own 'Grinch' inspired characters & bring them to lifeusing the magic of stop frame animation to make your very ownshort animated film!
£15 per person
Age 5+

Contact Angela for further information or to book

M: 07787944531
E: angelanimation@hotmail.com

Enhanced DBS (CRB) & Insured


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. This was well after the quarries had been worked out and the shaft itself had been closed.

A project to excavate and restore this stone circle was initiated by the local Heritage Society in 2009 and is now widely supported by Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust, the Heritage Society and Combe Down community groups, such as Friends of Firs Field.  Various departments within B&NES have also given encouragement.

If you would like to be part of the excavation team, the very first stage in this project scheduled for this coming 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       




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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