Just Topping – if you ask me.

Popped into Topping and Company’s new home yesterday.

After 14 years on the Paragon, this independent bookseller has moved to a magnificent Georgian building in York Street – formerly known as The Friends Meeting House.

Becoming a bookshop marks an exciting new chapter for a building that has a rich historic legacy.

Designed in 1817 by William Wilkins, architect of The National Gallery, for use as a Masonic Hall, it was an assembly room and non-conformist chapel during the 1830s and has since been in the hands of the Religious Society of Friends.

It is a listed building of significant architectural heritage, and one of the few remaining examples of the Greek revival style in Bath

With handcrafted bookcases spread over two floors – and with a mezzanine level too – this has got to be one of the biggest independent shops in the country.

With a much larger space, Topping’s say they’ll be able to host many more of the biggest names in the literary world in the bookshop itself – and they are still offering many book-lined nooks and crannies to enjoy their traditional complimentary pot of coffee or tea.

One added bonus – once proper steps are constructed – is that Toppings will offer its customers the chance to step outside and view the magnificent 18th-century facade of Ralph Allen’s townhouse which lies alongside their new bookshop – hidden from view from the street.

The facade of Ralph Allen’s townhouse

The buildings became his town offices when this wealthy stone quarry owner moved to Prior Park in 1745.


  1. Shocking always that R Allen’s town house obscured by the ice cream shop!

  2. So lovely to see the building so beautifully reappropriated. I used to live in the flat below in the mid 90’s

Comments are closed.