MEMBERS of the National Minerals Working Party of the Country Landowners Association (CLA) visited one of Hanson's underground mines near Bath recently as part of their annual conference. The group were taken on a tour of Westwood mine, part of Hanson Bath & Portland Stone.
Mine manager Peter Crompton showed the CLA members how the stone used to build many of Bath's grandest buildings has been produced over the last 160 years. The working party had earlier held its conference at Hanson's Mells Park House near Frome, in Somerset, which is itself partly built from Bath stone.
The visit allowed the group to contrast underground mining with the limestone quarrying activities carried out at Whatley Quarry, which the CLA members had visited earlier in the day. Whatley is Hanson's largest quarry with annual production of around 3.5 million tonnes of stone, while Westwood mine produces just 4,500 tonnes a year.