History of Frome

General Introduction

The name Frome, pronounced Froome, comes from the Old English word ffraw meaning fair, fine or brisk and describing the flow of the river. The town can trace its history back to 685AD when St Aldhelm founded a monastery there and a settlement grew up around the river crossing.


Vallis Vale is an ancient woodland site and buried in the rock outcrops are several of the most easily demonstrated examples of angular unconformity available – a nationally important locality.


Frome has over 500 listed buildings several of which are grade 1.

Surrounding Villages

Frome is the natural centre of a number of outlying villages and hamlets. These include Beckington, Berkley, Buckland Dinham, Chantry, Chapmanslade,Cloford, Coleford, Corsley, Downhead, East & West Cranmore, East & West Woodlands, Great Elm, Hapsford, Holcombe, Laverton, Leigh on Mendip, Lullington, Marston Bigot, Mells, Nunney, Norton St Philip, Old Ford, Orchardleigh, Rodden, Rode (Road), Standerwick, Stoke St Michael, Trudoxhill, Tytherington, Vallis, Vobster, Wanstrow, Whatley, Witham Friary and Woolverton.

Mystery Tunnels

Myths and ledgends abound concerning old tunnels in and around Frome, yet no one except the Frome Tunnel Team seems to have tried seriously to find out anything about the.


The museum has a very extensive timeline mounted on the walls which shows significant events from 685AD to the present day.


The town has been privileged to have many notable residents. From Sir Benjamin Baker to Jenson Butto.

Frome Hoard

Dave Crisp discovered 52503 Roman coins in a ceramic pot in 2010.

Arts & Theatre

Frome has a rich and thriving culture in art and theatre. One such is the Frome Amatuer Operatic Society.

WW1 & WW2

Frome industries played vital roles in both the first and second world wars.

Wool Trade

Cloth making was an important local industry using local sheep for wool and woad for cloth dyeing.


There have been many different industries in Frome over the years from engineering to technology.


The story of J W Singer and their extensive production of brass items and well-known statues can be read here.


Printing in Frome goes back many years and is still part of life in Frome.


The Museum has a special section devoted to Garston Veterinary Practice.