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History of Frome

History of Frome
  • council: Mendip
  • population: 24,510
  • phone code: 01373
  • postcode area: BA11
  • county: Somerset
  • twin Towns: Château-Gontier - France, Murrhardt - Germany.

Frome (pronounced ‘Froom’) is Mendip’s largest and most easterly town, with cobbled streets and more historic buildings than any other Somerset town.

Once bigger than the city of Bath, 12 miles to the North, it has a thriving arts scene, and a good mix of modern and traditional shops.

The town originally grew due to the weaving industry, and weavers\' cottages can still be found, contrasting with Georgian terraces. The town has grown substantially in recent years but still retains its centre, most of which falls within a conservation area. The Trinity area has been completely renovated and preserved as an example of early industrial housing of the late 17th Century.

The Black Swan Arts Centre features two galleries, a craft shop and studios, and cafe. Frome Tourist Information Centre is also housed here, in the historic Round Tower.

Frome also boasts two theatres, The Merlin and The Memorial, plus The Cheese and Grain, a former farm produce warehouse which was converted into a community centre, market and concert hall in 1997. With a capacity of up to 800, it has become an important music venue in the South West.

These venues play host to the nationally-renowned annual 10-day Frome Festival, which takes place in July and features more than 160 events around the town.

For foodies the Cheese and Grain is also home to a busy fortnightly farmers’ market (on the second and last Saturday mornings of the month), with the main town market taking place there on Wednesdays and Fridays.

The Frome Cheese and Agricultural Show is one of the most important events in the town’s calendar. This September show, now held at West Woodlands village, has been taking place for over 120 years and features all sorts of local produce as well as cattle, horses, poultry and craft stalls.

Frome Museum displays of many local industrial artefacts, maps and photographs. On the first Sunday of each month from May to September the Museum hosts guided tours around the medieval delights of Frome, these walks are organised and given by Members of the Frome Society for Local Study. They are free but any donations are given to Frome Museum.

Frome station was opened in 1850 and is one of the oldest railway stations still in operation in Britain. The railway line which previously served Frome from Radstock is now the route of National Cycle Route 24, otherwise known as the Colliers Way.

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