Toppings bookshop to expand in move to listed building

Toppings bookshop to expand in move to listed building

Bath bookshop Toppings & Company is to move to a listed Georgian building, and will begin expansion building works next year. 

After 14 years in one of Bath's Georgian quarters, the Paragon, the bookshop will be relocating to a building formerly known as the Friends Meeting House. The building was designed in 1817 by National Gallery architect William Wilkins, and was used as an assembly room and non-conformist chapel during the 1830s. It has since been used by the Religious Society of Friends, and is a listed building as one of the few remaining examples of the Greek Revival style in Bath. 

The new shop is set to have a mezzanine and multiple floors, and will be lined with bookcases and the shop's "signature rolling library ladders". The owners intend to expland stock, offering a wider selection of fiction, children’s books, cookery writing, history and more. They also anticipate hosting more literary events as a result of the increase in space.

Artist's rendering of ground floor and mezzanine

In a statement, shop owner Robert Topping said: "While this year has been tough for us all, here at the bookshop we remain very optimistic about the future for Bath and for independent bookselling. There are certainly some new challenges ahead that we didn't expect when we began thinking about this project at the start of the year, but we're very excited about the move."

Toppings & Company will also be hosting an online event with Stephen Fry on 30th November. Fry will read Troy, the final instalment in his Greek trilogy, which also included Heroes and Mythos. For the event, the shop is partnering with Penguin to offer copies of the book alongside the ticket. The first 100 to book will receive a copy with a limited edition signed bookplate.