"There is no stone that differs so much in its bed, after it has
been wrought and exposed to the air as the Bath freestone. While it is in the
ground, it is soft, moist, yellowish, and almost crumbly and it seems very little
more than congealed sand and that not well concreted together. But when it has
been some time exposed to the air and is thoroughly dried, it becomes, white,
hard, firm and an excellent stone." - E. OWEN. 1754
Bath stone is a beautiful cream coloured soft stone, whose colour pales with age.
It is named after the city of Bath, near where it was mined and used to construct the magnificent Georgian buildings that have, as well as the Roman baths, made Bath a world heritage site.
Bath stone is an even grained oolitic limestone, remarkable for being both easy to work and hard wearing.
Masons use many different tools to work the stone, some of which seem rather unlikely:
Watching a skilled bath stone mason at work is as joyous as it is impressive. They can form intricate structures, shapes and designs, and do it with such ease that it seems impossible that something that can be so easily worked could hold it's own weight, let alone the magnificent houses, halls and cathedral in Bath.
Bath stone is also known as: