23rd July 2014:
Ianto Wain, Joint Head of Heritage Management Services at OA South, recently attended the opening of the Ralph Allen CornerStone Centre at Combe Down, Bath. This is an information centre and small museum housed in a purpose built state-of-the-art eco building and dedicated to the history of the village and to its historic stone mines, which produced much of the stone for the building of Georgian (and later) Bath.
OA carried out a ten-year recording and recovery project during the consolidation of the mines, using a mixture of traditional recording, detailed photography, video film and laser scanning to record the significant remains prior to their infilling. Following the fieldwork we produced a major monograph on the works and also oversaw the production of short film, which incorporated our photographs, film and reconstruction drawings.
Our work is strongly represented in the exhibition centre, which uses our photographs and films in its digital and interactive displays. The museum also contains a selection of our key finds, most notably two large pieces of historic graffiti, which our team had carefully cut from the pillars of the mine.
The museum was opened by Cherry Beath, the current Lord Mayor of Bath, and other attendees included Nick Raynsford MP and senior figures from the Homes and Communities Agency and Bath & North East Somerset Council.
The museum is only one part of a wider heritage strategy for the village, which includes themed walks and interpretation panels mounted on pieces of recovered Combe Down Stone. OA's work is again much represented on these panels.