The building blocks of Bath

I had no real idea what l would find behind the blue shuttering fronting an industrial unit l visited this morning in Corsham – just ten miles into Wiltshire from where l live in Bath.

The industrial unit at Corsham

The two places are connected in one big and very physical way.

Much of the Georgian architectural splendour – in the centre of my home ‘town’ – is built from locally-sourced Bath stone.

And that has been quarried around Corsham and elsewhere in the district since Roman times.

Corsham quarry workers in 1945. A photograph from David Pollard’s amazing book.

There are still quarries in the area producing stone but not on the scale that saw the 18th-century building of Bath’s fine squares, avenues and crescents.

The late David Pollard – standing at the entrance of Hartham Park Quarry, in Corsham

And it’s from that history that a man called David Pollard amassed the biggest hoard of artifacts reflecting that recent limestone extraction and now his widow has inherited a storeroom that contains the biggest collection of its type in the country.

Nina Pollard explained to me why she wants help now in finding it a proper home.

Helping Nina take care of the collection is a man who knows all about the local history of Bath stone quarrying.

Mike Dodd.

Mike Dodd at one time gave tours at a local quarry – which had closed – where visitors could experience what conditions were like underground.

N.B. As l have already explained, the late David Pollard worked for many years on a history of Bath stone which was published posthumously.

It’s called Digging Bath Stone and can be bought directly from the publishers – Lightmoor Press – – or – in Bath – from The Museum of Bath Stone at Combe Down or the Museum of Bath at Work.

If you are able to help the Corsham-based Trust by becoming a volunteer – or trustee – and have skills to offer, then please contact me and l will pass your details on.