FROME HERITAGE MUSEUM

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We have closed for the winter and will re open on Saturday 2nd March 2019.  We will however be open on Saturday 23rd February 2019 for the launch of an ambitious new heritage project celebrating one of Frome’s most prominent historical figures, John Webb Singer, on what would have been his 200th birthday.

All are welcome to attend the event on Saturday 23rd February, signalling the start of “Casting The World”, a project which will incorporate exhibitions, events and a publication throughout 2019, exploring the life and work of John Webb Singer, who was born in Frome on 23rd February 1819.

The event will kick off at 2pm at Frome Museum when Rook Lane’s project curator Sue Bucklow will lead visitors on Frome Town Council’s inaugural Singer’s Heritage Trial, a tour of sites around Frome associated with John Webb Singer.  This will take in elements of the former J. W. Singer & Sons town centre foundry at Waterloo, which once employed more than 700 people and produced statues that can now be found across the world.  From 3pm, visitors will be able to take a first look at our new display of artefacts and memorabilia belonging to J. W. Singer and his family, followed by speeches, refreshments and a birthday cake.

“Casting The World” is a Heritage Lottery-funded project led by Rook Lane Arts Trust, along with key partners  Frome Heritage Museum.  The project is also supported by the Frome Society for Local Study,  Frome Town Council, Frome Festival, Home in Frome, Black Swan Arts, Frome Learning Partnership and Johnson’s Controls.  It will explore and celebrate the life and work of John Webb Singer, founder of J. W. Singer & Sons foundry, a pioneering example of Victorian industry from the mid 19th century onwards.

Founded in 1848 J. W. Singer & Sons started out with a small forge on Eagle Lane, but grew to become one of Frome’s major employers and was responsible for producing some of the world’s most iconic public statues, including Boudica on the Thames Embankment in London, Justice that crowns the Old Bailey and the lions at the Rhodes memorial in Capetown, South Africa.  

Sue Bucklow has been researching and studying Singer’s life and work since 2001 and has discovered a number of previously unseen images of the foundry at work in surviving glass negatives, as well as correspondence and family photographs.  Sue is excited to be able to share her research in the upcoming exhibition, which will be held this summer at Rook Lane Arts.

Sue said, “The history of John Webb Singer and all that he did for Frome is truly fascinating.  Setting up a foundry that employed hundreds of local people, working with the top sculptors of the day, casting statues that were sent all over the world, as well as establishing the Frome Art School are just a few of the stories we’ll be highlighting during the Rook Lane Arts project.”

“Casting The World” will bring to life these important elements of Frome’s past in a series of exhibitions, events and community activities over the course of 2019.  All are welcome to the launch event which will be an opportunity to find out more about “Casting The World” and how you can get involved in the project.

If you can’t make the launch but would like to be involved in the project email

projects@rooklanearts.org.uk

The Singer’s Town Trail can be experienced any time.  Pick up a leaflet in Discover Frome or download it from the Frome Town Council website.

Singer Painting 01

Frome Heritage Museum welcomes school and other group visits, throughout the year.  However, to avoid disappointment and make the most of your visit we must ask you to contact us in advance by phone (+44 (0)1373 454611) or e-mail info@frome-heritage-museum.org.

  • Frome Heritage Museum is located in the centre of the town in our hisOpening sign editedtoric listed
    building built for the Frome Literary and Scientific Institution.
  • We have fascinating collections of local, regional or even national importance.  The two galleries (entered off North Parade) have regularly changing exhibitions and displays of a wide range of local history.
  • There is a shop

The Library/Archive is open to researchers by appointment throughout the year.   Researchers are asked to email,  telephone or write to arrange an appointment and also give brief details of their research. This will allow our volunteers to locate relevant documents and photographs in advance of your visit.  In line with policy at most archives today charges are levied for photocopies and other services.  Details are available on request.

The Museum and Library is run entirely by volunteers and we receive no support from the local authorities. Please help to keep admission free by making a donation – £2 is suggested – which can be enhanced if you sign a Gift Aid Declaration.

We are very grateful for donations of material which relate to the history of Frome and the surrounding parishes but please contact us in advance so appropriate arrangements can be made for your visit.

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