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.

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

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Opening Hours

CLOSED for Christmas and New Year

Re-open January 7 2018!

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

We have a new name -
the 'Ralph Allen CornerStone' will be changing to the 'Museum of Bath Stone'.

It will still tell the story of Combe Down, its stone and its people.

The address will be
CornerStone, 54A, Combe Road.

Love Co2mbe Down

Monday February 5, 19.30-21.30

Discussion of Green Open Homes project in Combe Down, local food production etc.
Newcomers are extremely welcome, whether to share ideas, skills, and help, or just to bring your curiosity! We hope to see you there.
Entrance FREE

For more details contact Susan Johnson sjcombedown@gmail.com

Angel Animation

Come along and make your very own 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

Made in Combe Down Market

Saturday February 3, 10.00 - 16.00
1st Saturday every month

Local artists and artisans work for sale including a selection from:
Cards, bangles, Picture frames, Paper engineering, Jams & chutneys, Pastries
Felt animals in kit form, sock cats and small lollipop cakes for kids, Dog blankets, coats & jumpers, and more

For more details or to book a table (currently £5) contact Vikki
E: vikki_y@yahoo.co.uk

Combe Down Exploring Art Group

Meets 1st Tuesday in the month

Next meeting on
Tuesday February 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

Watercolour Workshops;

Sat 20 Jan 2018 10:00 – 15:30
Wed 24 Jan 2018 09:30 – 14:00
Thu 25 Jan 2018 09:30 – 14:00
Sat 27 Jan 2018 10.30 - 15.00
£80 per day includes refreshments and lunch

Gift vouchers available

Contact Catherine for workshop plan and booking form or details of further courses
M: 07891 409490
E: catherine@catherinebeale.com

Kathy Pearce Sewing Classes

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 household living over the mines was offered a ceramic plate representing the mined underworld beneath their house. 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 indigenous to the area.

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

Buy singles or a group for a wall display or just to wow your dinner guests!
See Facebook for photos

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


Restoration of part of Bath’s Stone Heritage.

Combe Down is the main site of Ralph Allen’s stone quarries – the source of the stone that built the World Heritage City of Bath. The abandoned workings were in-filled with a £155m project, completed in 2010.  The village has lost much of the physical evidence of its stone-quarrying heritage; there is no longer any public access.

However, on Firs Field there are remains of a shaft, possibly one of 3 original light shafts, into the main underground quarry.

Just visible, in a raised area of grass, is a stone circle marking the site of the protective wall.

A project to excavate and restore this stone circle was initiated by the local Heritage Society in 2009 and is now widely supported by local groups.

Young locals lead the drive to discover the heritage

A survey of the site and an excavation of part of the wall remains has been carried out by a team of local young people aided by members of Combe Down Heritage Society, Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust and Friends of Firs Field together with experienced archaeologists from Cliveden Conservation Workshop.  A section of the original stone wall has been revealed.

A blog, written by three members of the young team, led by Bert Nash, tells what they have been doing and its importance to Bath’s World Heritage status.

See: http://firsfieldmineshaft.weebly.com

For further information:

Val Lyon

Mob: 07774 113 778


Martin Coulson

Mob: 07761 736239


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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