New permanent exhibition for 2023

New permanent exhibition for 2023 1024 768 Frome Heritage Museum

For 2023 we have an exciting new permanent display, which traces the history of Frome both chronologically and thematically. Many of the exhibits have not been available to visitors in the past.

One of the highlights is a Saxon axe head dating back some 1,500 years, discovered by metal detectorist. Mike McGuinness found the axe whilst surveying land at Oldfield Hall in Spring Gardens. The axe was buried 19 inches deep in one of the water meadows at Oldfield, and Mike immediately recognised it as a Francisca, a throwing axe used by the Saxons in their battles against the Romans.  The design of the axe dates it to between 450 and 550 CE, a date confirmed by experts at The British Museum. 

Current thinking is that the Saxons did not reach this far west until the middle of the 7th Century.  Oldfield was called Aldefeld by the Normans, a word which in Saxon German translates as an “area of open country cultivated over a lengthy period”.  This supports that idea that the Saxons may have settled in Aldefeld long before St Aldhelm founded Frome in 685 CCE.

And don’t forget to come and see our current temporary exhibition, which tells the story of HMS Thunderbolt’s connections with Frome.

Although entry to the museum is free, donations are welcomed.