Celebrated Women of Frome

Celebrated Women of Frome 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

Exhibition – 8 MARCH – 10 JULY 2022

What do a famous Victorian poet, an honoured educational reformer and the original Bond girl have in common? They are all part of the ‘Celebrated Women of Frome’ exhibition being held at museum between March and July. The exhibition will ‘celebrate’ around twenty women who were born, lived, or had a close association with Frome, ranging from the late seventeenth century to the present day.

Museum Press Officer, David Lassman, says: ‘Each woman chosen made a significant contribution to her chosen field, either at a local level or a more national one, some even international. The latter includes Christina Rossetti, the famous Victorian poet who lived in Frome in the early 1850s. Although she resided here only a relatively short time, and the school she was running failed, Christina and her family’s influence and association is more far reaching than people realise.

There is also educational reformer Clara Grant, who spent her youth in Frome before becoming headmistress at a school in London, where her pioneering work was rewarded with an OBE. Others within the exhibition include a prolific playwright, the town’s first and only female MP, a best-selling romance novelist, a social reformer, and a pioneering photographer whose images shocked the world.

Although women are included who were born or spent their early years in Frome, there are also those who moved here later in life. One of these was Lois Maxwell, the actress who played Miss Moneypenny in the first fourteen James Bond films and is known by many as the ‘original’ Bond girl. She lived in Frome for eight years. A plaque erected by Frome Society for Local Study marks the house where she lived.

Also on display in the exhibition is a recently restored portrait of Elizabeth Rowe – the Poet of Frome. The portrait mysteriously disappeared for nearly four decades, until it suddenly turned up at the museum’s doorstep through a donation. It was unveiled in a recent ceremony at the museum and will be on show throughout the exhibition, which runs between 8 March and 10 July 2022’.

As the exhibition runs for four months, there will be the opportunity for visitors to the museum to nominate other Frome women they think should be ‘celebrated’. Alongside the exhibition itself, there will be a programme of related events and activities throughout its duration and these will include walks, talks, theatrical productions and workshops. The events are being undertaken in collaboration with various other organisations and groups, both local, regional and national.

The exhibition is free, although donations are welcomed. The opening hours are between 10am and 2pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays. On the first Sunday of each month, on Frome Independent Market Day, the museum will open between 10am and 3pm.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact the museum for the attention of David Lassman (Press Officer): Tel: 01373 454611; or email: exhibitions@frome-heritage-museum.org