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.

3 Comments

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

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