Choosing the right Bath stone for your next project

Bath stone is over 150 million years in the making and therefore taking a few moments now to make sure you choose the right stone for your project is time well spent.

Owing to Bath stone’s monumentally long history and formation, there are differences between different beds of Bath stone. As such, some are more sought-after than others.

Bath Stone has been mined at several different quarries over the years, and the stone that comes from these sites is all oolithic limestone. However, it isn’t all the same.

The strata at the different quarries vary enormously in various ways. The stone’s colour and the size of the ooliths (affecting the uniformity of texture) are notable variations. Perhaps the most important difference though is the stones resistance to frost which has a significant effect on prolonging the stones useful life.

Exceptional Bath stone for exceptional projects

The beauty and consistency of Stoke Ground Bath Stone from our mines is exceptional, which is why it is specified for projects that need outstanding quality and reliability. It is the choice for high profile new build and restoration projects across the UK. It is also the choice of individuals painstakingly restoring period homes.

Stoke Ground Bath stone is the perfect choice where a consistent, hard wearing and frost resistant Bath stone is required. The long-term durability of our Stoke Ground Bath stone base bed in particular, based on over 40 years of user experience since we began mining it in 1982 makes it the ideal Bath stone in freeze thaw environments, which we experience in the UK.  Choosing the right Bath stone for your project, which will perform satisfactorily in its intended role, is essential in order to enjoy its natural beauty for years to come.

We only extract 2 beds, the original Top and Base bed. Stone parameters can vary especially when there are lots of beds in a seam, fortunately we only have two which allows us to deliver a consistent product time after time.  Stoke Ground Top Bed has been used for generations and the Base Bed for at least 40 years.

When you work with the Bath Stone Company we will guide you through the whole process to give you the confidence that you are buying a quality product with a known provenance.

Exceptional Bath stone for exceptional projects
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When deciding on what particular stone you need it’s worth speaking to the mine directly and to get advice from one of our natural stone specialists. They will have the experience and knowledge to guide you to the best solution for your specific project.

We are happy to supply samples for you to see if the colour and feel of the stone is suitable for your, or your clients, requirements. There are various types of samples and if this is an initial enquiry we will supply an indicative sample which shows the general colour, texture and tone of the stone.

These samples are typically 100mm square and as such are a guide as to what the stone looks like, but due to their size they aren’t able to show the full range of geological characteristics which can be present in the natural stone.

The samples will be labelled in accordance with BS EN 12440 Natural Stone Denomination Criteria and will detail the traditional name of the stone, the location of the quarry, the country of origin and the petrological family declared along with a sample reference number.

These indicative samples are often used by the project team to evaluate if this is a suitable stone for their clients and can also be used at the planning application stage.

At Bath Stone we mine our Bath Stone from 2 beds. Stoke Ground Top bed and Stoke ground base bed. Both have slightly different characteristics and would be recommended for different applications. We can guide you through the most appropriate stone for your chosen usage.

Get in touch for a sample.

Range or Control samples

As your project progresses, we can show you range or control samples from the respective beds which will show the typical range of geological variations that naturally occur in the bed of stone, such as veining, shell content, grain size and colour/texture. It’s important to remember that stone is a natural product and that various characteristics and differences seen in these samples are typical and add to the character of the stone.

When viewing the control samples they should be viewed in daylight and at a distance of two metres and ideally in the orientation in which the stone will finally be used.

Bath Stone
Stoke Ground Bath Stone

Visit to our mine

You are welcome to visit our mine and to see existing stone blocks and to be able to examine stone faces of blocks recently mined. Please note all visits must be booked in in advance to make sure one of our stone consultants is available to help you.

You will be able to see stone that we have in stock, and for larger projects, some of the proposed beds that would be used to produce your stone. If the construction period is likely to run for many months or even years, we recommend pre-purchasing your stone to ensure consistency and we can then put this aside for draw off as your project progresses.

We are able to work together with you to agree a plan of extraction of your stone which may be a combination of existing stock and new extractions.

When involved with a larger project having a continuity of supply is vitally important to avoid costly delays but also to ensure the look and finish is consistent across the whole build.

At Stoke Ground we have reserves of over 1 million tonnes which means that stone will be available for years to come for possible repairs or additions, an important consideration to bear in mind.

Test data

Our Stoke Ground Bath stone is independently tested to the latest European and British Standards by BRE Global, an independent, international certification body. It means you can be confident it will meet your performance requirements.

We supply the relevant certificates and declarations as standard with every order, so you have complete supply chain transparency and a clear provenance for your stone.

As defined byTop bedBase Bed
DensityBS EN 1936:20062000 Kgm³2160 Kgm³
Porosity % (by volume)BS EN 1936:200626.2%20.4%
Compressive strengthBS EN 772-1:201113.5 MPa20.2 MPa
Flexural strengthBS EN 12372: 20062.2 MPa4.3 MPa
Water absorption (% by mass)BS EN 13755:200810.9%7.8%
Thermal conductivityBS EN 12524:20001.70 Kgm³1.70 Kgm³

All stone produced by The Bath Stone Company will have a CE Certificate relevant to the proposed use of the stone and a Declaration of Performance (DOP).

Viewing buildings which have used Bath Stone

Although this is not always possible due to time, we will happily show you a number of buildings which have used our stone in the past to help you come to a decision. Seeing how the stone naturally weathers over time can be really helpful in visioning how your project may look in years to come.

Stoke Ground Bath Stone
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Mining sustainably

Mining sustainably and sensitively is very important to us, and to our clients, and during your visit we can explain the processes we undertake to ensure that our mine operates with the greatest of respect for the natural environment and the health and safety of our workers.

We plan our operations with the utmost thought and care. We invest intelligently in state-of-the-art mining equipment so we always have the latest technology to support our operations. All our personnel are trained to the highest standards of health and safety and we have an in-house Rescue Team. We work closely with HM Inspectorate of Mines and strictly adhere to The Mines Regulations 2014.

We have been moving away from diesel powered equipment for many years and much of our face operations are now undertaken with electric and hydraulic machines. Where we are unable to change from gas oil we implemented the use of HVO (Hydrotreated vegetable oil) after a year long trial, this resulted in immediate reductions in CO2, NOX and particulate emissions throughout the mine atmosphere.

Our people are important and we do our best to ensure that their tenure here is as long as possible. We do not use short term or zero hour contracts, our operatives are paid a decent salary with overtime pay and for each extra responsibility that they take on there are additional payments in order to recognise their work and commitment. Annual medicals, health insurance, ongoing training, tool box talks, regular environmental sampling by independent contractors and a tight knit management structure all go toward looking after our most important assets.

In this way, we can ensure our mines can continue to be a source of stone for generations to come.

We will always offer our expertise to support you in achieving the outstanding results your project demands. From practical, technical and design advice to recommendations of contractors that understand how to cut, work and construct using the qualities of Bath Stone, we are here to help.

Any questions? Speak to us today

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