The following is a summary of our Mission Statement
Combe Down Heritage Society Mission Statement
The Society exists in order to:
- foster an interest in Combe Down’s past
- provide a framework to conserve its cultural heritage and development
- record and interpret the history of its people and their lives
- make the heritage more accessible to residents and visitors
- support and encourage all sources of education
- communicate its work to all who might be interested
- keep an archive of all heritage information.
The Heritage Society is committed to work with the community to investigate, explain, preserve and develop Combe Down’s heritage. Much of the surviving local heritage is inextricably part of Britain’s finest Georgian City and leading UNESCO World Heritage Site. As well as the unique industrial archaeology of its stone mining industry (the mines themselves are a Site of Special Scientific Interest) from which much of Georgian Bath was built, Combe Down has a rich heritage of buildings, 180 of them ‘Listed’. Part of the village is in the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, having diverse parkland with a history of its own, and has an area designated ‘Site of Nature Conservation Importance’. The value of these various elements of Combe Down’s landscape and its past is enhanced by its collective unity.
Europe’s Conventions for the Protection of the Archaeological (The Valletta Convention) and Architectural Heritage give the United Kingdom a responsibility to conserve and protect, and to develop public awareness and access, to such heritage. They state that Local amateur societies have a vital role to play in this and our Group is already working in collaboration with those with statutory responsibility.
The Group was set up in 2000 by local residents and is affiliated to the Combe Down Stone Mines Community Association. In 2002 the Group put together an exhibition of photographs, postcards, maps and artefacts from its already substantial collection. The Group has subsequently enlarged to a dozen or so active members, has published a Combe Down Heritage Trail leaflet and a Poster and runs Guided Walks of Combe Down. Key members of the Group are working with a sub-committee of the Community Association to seek resources for the establishment of a proposed Combe Down Community Heritage Centre. The Group will have an important role in the sustainability of this aspect of community life. It keeps minutes of its meetings and its Poster details its activities and aims.
Current projects include compiling a record of the built environment in the village, recording oral histories from older members of the community and studying local ancient paths and trackways. It is pursuing an interest in other local sites such as the disused Jewish Cemetery in Bradford Road. It will ensure that the history of quarrying and above ground archaeology receive their due emphasis.
A larger membership and other activities are under discussion and the Society plans to become formally constituted. This Mission Statement is part of that process.
We set out here the details of a vision and framework for the future. The Statement recognises the need for further research into the history of the area and the setting up of a central source of information. It further recognises that the area of Combe Down, though largely residential, supports a multiplicity of users and interest groups and there is the need for a co-ordinated approach to implementing its proposals. In particular there are five schools within 800 yards of the village centre. Its aims must be sustainable and be achieved by effective working in partnership with other local bodies and organisations.
This Mission Statement is a consultation document and we warmly welcome any comments or suggestions. Please ask the Secretary for those sections which might have relevance to you or your organisation.
The Statement contains sections on:
- The landscape & its attributes
- Mining & quarrying
- Built heritage
- Access to heritage
- Combe Down Community Heritage Centre
- Exhibitions & guided walks
- Community sustainability
- Funding needs
and has appendices listing:
- Members of the original Heritage Group
- Organisations to receive a copy of the Statement.
- Organisations consulted on the Heritage Centre
- Grant Awarding Bodies and details