Combe Down Stone Mines

Oxford Archaeology (South), 2012

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Ianto Wain
Oxford Archaeology (South)
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Osney Mead
Tel: 01865 243888

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Oxford Archaeology (South) (2012) Combe Down Stone Mines [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Ruts along the western early-Allen cartway in Byfield near Ralph Allen Yard

Between 2000 and 2009 Oxford Archaeology carried out an archaeological recording action during the stabilisation of the post-medieval underground stone mines at Combe Down, Bath. The mines, which primarily date from the mid 18th to early 20th centuries, had begun to collapse endangering the stability of the settlement above and OA's works were part of a major engineering project which stabilised and ultimately infilled the mine.

The works were carried out (as a Watching Brief) during the construction of a network of supported engineering roadways, constructed of wood and steel, which were inserted into the mine initially to provide safe access to all areas of the mine and latterly to facilitate the filling of the mines with foam concrete. The recording was primarily by drawn and photographic methods although a range of other techniques were employed to augment the traditional techniques.

Except at the very end of the project, when specially constructed roadways were constructed to allow safe sampling of some of the key deposits, the work was carried out entirely from the shelter of the engineering roadways and no archaeological excavation was carried out.

The works were reported upon in a series of interim reports and at the completion of the project the results formed the basis of a published Archaeological Monograph:

Redvers-Higgins, N., Willies, L. and Wain, I. (2011) 'Finished Labours of a Thousand Hands': The archaeology of the Combe Down Stone Mines, Bath, Somerset. Oxford Archaeology Monograph.

All hard copy site records including context sheets, drawings, primary finds data and catalogues of records were security copied by PDF/A and uploaded to the OA web library. An archival copy is lodged with ADS as part of this deposit. The archive also contains scanned copies of the interim report. Specialists reports and other project documentation.

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