Bath welcomes largest independent bookshop to open in decades

18 December 2021

The largest bookshop to launch in England in decades has thrown open its doors in Bath – the brand new Topping & Company Booksellers store on York Street. 

Topping & Company is already something of a Bath staple. One of the city’s best-loved independent businesses, its bookshop on The Paragon has been a hit with locals and visitors for over 14 years. 

In the latest exciting news for Topping & Co – and for Bath’s booklovers – they’ve opened an enormous new book emporium in the old Friend’s Meeting House. This will be their new home, which unfortunately means that their shop on The Paragon has closed. 

Back in February 2021, we shared the exciting news that the company had secured planning permission to convert the Grade II listed building on York Street. It had been used by the Bath Quakers from 1866 until 2019, but the council had since struggled to find a suitable use for it. 

At the time, Topping & Company said that the development would create up to 13 local jobs. A spokesperson also said of the proposed new bookshop:

“Set with the grade II-listed building it will be one of the most beautiful, striking and well stocked bookshops and will draw people to Bath from all over the country.

The grand opening 

The doors to the magnificent Georgian building were flung open on Saturday 30th October, ushering in the meeting house’s new life as a bookshop. If you haven’t visited already, you’re in for a real treat. 

The spacious interiors have plenty of room for multiple floors of books in all categories, including a massive selection of fiction, children’s books, a history collection and much more. 

Fans of the original Topping & Company Booksellers on The Paragon will be pleased to know that the shop’s signature rolling library ladders are still there – along with handcrafted bookcases and a gorgeous new gallery. There are plenty of cosy corners to sit and read, and even enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while you browse.  

Here’s what the owners have to say about the big move on their website: 

“After 14 very happy years at our familiar spot on The Paragon, we are delighted to have moved to the magnificent Georgian building formerly known as the Friends Meeting House. This superb location – opposite the Bath Abbey on York Street – places the bookshop right in the centre of Bath.”

Keep an eye out for Topping & Company Bath events

There are already a number of fantastic events planned for the new venue. Topping & Co says:

“With this new and larger space we are able to host many of the biggest names in the literary world in the bookshop itself.”

You can view the full events schedule here, but highlights over the next few months include ‘An Evening with Patrick Gale’ in March 2022 and award-winning food writer Georgina Hayden talking about her new book ‘Nistisima’ in April 2022. 

You’ll find the new Topping & Company Booksellers opposite Bath Abbey. Want to stay nearby? Check out our beautiful selection of self-catering apartments in Bath, right in the city centre and just a short stroll from York Street and the Abbey.