Firs Field appeal

Some of the Firs Field excavation team

Some of the Firs Field excavation team

The Museum of Bath Stone, in association with Combe Down Heritage Society and Friends of Firs Field have launched a Firs Field appeal to place a stone bench, for all to enjoy, on Firs Field.

It will also be a memorial to Ralph Allen’s role in the building of Georgian Bath with Combe Down stone and commemorate the stabilisation project that, by 2009, restored the village to safety.

A gentle circular hump beside a chestnut tree in the Firs Field is the last remaining evidence of Combe Down’s underground quarries on public land. All the other shaft entrances or quarry walls are on private property – in back gardens or school grounds. Older residents can remember a circular wall that surrounded a vertical entrance into the Firs mine (one of three in Firs Field). Combe Down Heritage Society and The Museum of Bath Stone wanted to excavate what remains of the wall and in 2017 Val Lyon engaged the enthusiasm of some Duke of Edinburgh’s Award students to dig out a section of the hump. Val gained all the necessary permissions from the Council and the agreement of the Friends of Firs Field to excavate.

The result was the exposure of a well-preserved section of circular wall about 3m long and 70cm wide. The students then covered it up and replaced the turf and discussed the best way ahead. It was agreed that this could form the base of a Bath Stone bench which should have an explanatory inscription cut into the front.

Val has now acquired quotes for the bench. With the approval and support of B&NES, our local councillors Bob Goodman and Cherry Beath, the UNESCO World Heritage Enhancement Fund, conservation professionals and local community groups, we now have seed money pledged but need to raise a further £6,000 to get this project underway.

If you would like to donate just text DONATE STONED to 88802 to give £5.00

You can also donate to this memorial project in the following ways:

By cheque payable to: Combe Down Stone Legacy Trust, and post to The Museum of Bath Stone, 54a Combe Road, Combe Down, Bath BA2 5HZ

Deliver your donation to staff at The Museum of Bath Stone, Ralph Allen CornerStone, 54a Combe Road, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 5HZ on Sunday or Monday during opening hours of 10.00am -16.00pm

Click the Donate button below

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Leave us your address or email if you would like to receive regular up-dates on the project and the work in progress by filling in our Contact Us form with the message “I would like to receive regular up-dates on the Stone Bench project”.