29 Jul STONE MINE WORKINGS IN COMBE DOWN
Due to the history of stone mine workings in Combe Down, we would recommend that purchasers obtain a detailed environmental report before buying property in this area. This will help provide further information as to the presence or otherwise of ventilation shafts to old mine workings. However, we would advise that it is likely that any old shafts would have been made safe as part of the recent remedial works.
The stone mines at Combe Down were oolite limestone mines, mainly worked in the 18th and 19th century. The Bath stone used for many of the buildings in Bath was mined from beneath and around Combe Down. The mines were closed in the 19th century but building work continued above ground with some roads and houses eventually resting on only a thin crust, in places only 1m – 2m deep, above large underground cavities with inadequate support.
A five-year central government-funded project began in late 2005 to stabilise and fill the abandoned mine workings. Bath and North East Somerset Council approved the planning application in June 2003 and approximately 760 village properties were included within its boundary. All mine workings inside the boundary of the planning application were stabilised.
Over 40 quarry sites have been identified but only one working quarry (Upper Lawn Quarry) remains on the edge of the village, located off Shaft Road, which supplies high quality Bath stone to the city and more widely across the UK.
Old quarries are often filled with waste material which can be contaminated. Obtaining the recommended Environmental Report would help identify not only quarries but also known waste disposal sites.