We have talks in Autumn & Winter and trips in Spring & Summer each year. For further details see the current Contact magazine (via the Bookshop page).
FROME FESTIVAL LECTURE AT ROOK LANE
Wednesday 6th July 2022 Dr Carole Sargent – Elizabeth Rowe
Frome Society for Local Study is proud to be sponsoring a Frome Festival Lecture at 7:30pm on Wednesday 6th July 2022 at Rook Lane Chapel. The subject will be local poet Elizabeth Rowe (1674–1737). Our speaker is Dr Carole Sargent, Director of the Office of Scholarly Publications, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Dr Sargent will show us that she was an interesting writer, witty and engaging and nothing like the starchy and pious persona portrayed.
Elizabeth Rowe is one of a number of ‘Celebrated women of Frome’, an exhibition to be held at Frome Museum which will run from International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March, to the last day of the Frome Festival, Sunday 10th July. Elizabeth was feted on both sides of the Atlantic and was one of the eighteenth century’s most widely read authors. Her works influenced early nineteenth century women writers but by the end of the nineteenth century she had become an ‘antiquarian curiosity’. Nowadays her star is on the rise again and she is credited with being a pivotal figure in the development of the English novel.
Tickets (£10) will only be on sale from the Frome Festival Box Office at the Cheese and Grain. Do join us at Rook Lane and find out more about this fascinating woman. Frome Festival Event 611
Thursday 9th June – Highcliffe Castle and Christchurch
Highcliffe Castle is Grade 1 listed and includes interesting exhibits reflecting its chequered history, including the time when being owned by ‘Mr Selfridge’. The café is situated next to the Castle. There are lovely views out to sea from the nearby cliff top with signs showing access down to the beach via a ramped walk or steps. Christchurch has plenty of places to eat and to discover; the blue plaque millennium trail connects 19 important sites in the town’s history and by the Rivers Stour and Avon flowing into Christchurch Harbour are signs directing you to the site of the ducking stool! The Augustinian Priory built in 1094 is the longest parish church in the country, the ruined 11th C Castle located nearby has the Norman Constable’s Hall that boasts the oldest chimney in Britain. The Red House Museum situated in the former Georgian Workhouse shows the town’s social history and information on the Iron Age and the later Saxon settlers. There is also a coffee shop here.
Depart from Rugby Club: 8-30am Costs: £24 – Bookings from Thursday 26th May (40 places)
Friday 24th June – Avebury NT
The pretty village of Avebury lies partially within this Neolithic henge monument that contains the world’s largest megalithic stone circle. The coach will drop us in the High Street near the Red Lion Inn and NT bookstall. The Old Farmyard is only a short walk away and here you will find the NT Shop, The Circles Café, Toilets, The Barn Museum and the Manor House. Included in our visit is a guided walk to see the stones or to have a shorter walk; walking shoes are advised. The Manor Gardens are divided into Rooms which are particularly interesting and colourful in the summer. Going inside the House you might be reminded of the 2011 TV series, The Manor Reborn, which showed some rooms decorated in the style of the Tudors, (with a bed you might still be invited to lie on), also of Queen Anne and Georgian eras, and the Victorian/Edwardian themed kitchen. The 1930s’ sitting room is styled as Alexander Keiller, of marmalade fame, might have known. He used his wealth to excavate and re-instate many of the stones. There are artefacts in the Museum with explanatory displays from the years of excavations around the area.
Depart Rugby Club: 9am Cost: NT members £18 non-members £30
Bookings from Wednesday 8th June (40 places)
Tuesday 19th July Knightshayes Court, Tiverton NT
In 1816, John Heathcoat the inventor, Loughborough mill owner and philanthropist, moved his lace-making business to Devon and many of his workers followed on foot. In 1869, his grandson, Liberal MP John Heathcoat-Amory, desired a grand mansion to reflect his wealth and hired the eminent architect, William Burges, to build Knightshayes. However, Burges was too slow in completing his elaborate Gothic-inspired designs and was replaced in 1873 by decorator J.C. Grace. Simon Jenkins in his England’s Thousand Best Houses, says Grace employed the most accomplished Victorian craftsmen who had also worked at Longleat.
After WW2, Heathcoat-Amory’s grandson, Sir John, and his wife, the ladies golf champion Joyce Wethered, found the house and grounds very neglected and they created the sloping lawns, terraces, glades, topiary hedges and an arboretum. Today, many visitors regard the gardens at Knightshayes as more important than the house itself.
Depart from Rugby Club: 8-45am Costs: NT members £19 non-members £31
Bookings from Friday 1st July (40 places)
Thursday 11th August – St Fagans, Cardiff
Since 1948 when the St Fagans National Museum of History opened, a growing collection of over 40 historical buildings from all over Wales have been rescued and rebuilt using traditional skills. The Museum is in the grounds of St Fagans Castle. Besides the examples of milling, blacksmithing, weaving, farming and the use of clay, we shall see the recent refurbishments and additions such illustrating Welsh people’s lives from pre-history to the present day.
The Museum is holding online talks and for a small donation they can be accessed via the St Fagans website. The Curators and the Conservators will be sharing their specialist knowledge, all followed by Q&A sessions and covering Natural Sciences; Social and Cultural History; Industrial History; Art; Archaeology and Numismatics.
Depart from Rugby Club: 8-30am Costs: £19 Bookings from Thursday 28th July (40 places)
Thursday 25th August – Royal West of England Academy, Bristol
This visit follows from the excellent lecture given in November 2021 by Alison Bevan, Chief Executive of the Royal West of England Academy, when she outlined the fascinating history of this illustrious building which was founded in the 1880s by Ellen Sharples and also told us about the extensive refurbishment over the past months. The Academy is due to open in April and Alison has offered to give Frome Society members a talk and guided tour. Our programme will include entry to their autumn exhibition called Earth: Digging Deep in British Art 1715-2022 which will chart the progression of landscape painting over time from the sublime to our current state of emergency.
The refurbishment includes extending the café facilities to outdoor as well as indoor seating and a wide range of refreshments. We plan to leave Frome at 9.00am to hopefully have time for coffee before Alison Bevan’s talk and guided tour at 11.00am and plan to leave Bristol by 4.00pm to avoid the rush hour. This will give time to explore the Gallery and maybe visit the area which is in the heart of Bristol.
Depart from Rugby Club: 9-00am Cost: £17 Bookings from Wednesday 10th August (40 places)
Wednesday 14th September – Winchester: Cathedral and College
‘Manners Makyth Man’ is William of Wykeham’s College Motto. His school was founded in 1332 and is the oldest of its type in England. As well as our guided tour of the College’s medieval buildings, we have a tour of the Cathedral to look forward to. The Cathedral was begun in 1079 on the orders of William the Conqueror but the Monastery was dissolved in 1532 by Henry VIII. In the vicinity of the present building is buried evidence of earlier Saxon churches. Within the Cathedral are many monuments; for instance, in the north nave aisle are the engraved words of Henry Austen in 1817 marking his sister Jane’s grave which make no reference to her literary genius.
A year later, John Keats visited Winchester and described it as, ‘The pleasantest town I ever was in’, and in between our guided tours we also can have a pleasant time by having a wander outside the close.
Depart from Rugby Club: 8-15am Cost: £30 Bookings from Wednesday 24th August (40 places)
Pick up points are:
• FROME RUGBY CLUB (advertised departure time)
• BUS STOP OUTSIDE FROME MEMORIAL THEATRE (5 minutes later)
The Rugby Club offers a large parking area which will accommodate all members who wish to park their cars there before boarding the coach. Please park behind the Clubhouse.