St John’s Church

St John's ChurchFrome’s large parish church, fitting for a town that was larger than Bath until 1650, lies a short distance up hill from the town centre and has much to offer those interested in Frome’s history and heritage.

St John’s is a Grade II* listed medieval building on a Saxon site, founded in 685AD by St Aldhelm. This important parish church has a number of unusual and interesting features, including a large stone archway in front of the church, steps leading to a holy well that are over 700 years old, and an underground room with no windows, which was once Frome’s jail.

When the controversial Revd Bennett took over St John the baptist in 1852 it was in a terrible state of disrepair, and he devoted the rest of his life to renovating the church. James Forsyth was engaged between 1860 and 1866 to produce multiple carvings within and without the church.

He carved four statues of saints for the west wall, a pieta and madonna and child for the Lady Chapel, the reredos on the main altar and 18 medallions. These show the miracles on the North wall and the Parables on the South wall inside the church

His finest achievement, and unique in an Anglican church in the UK, is the Via Crucis ( ‘Way of the Cross’ ) carved in the church yard.

The cemetery with several significant graves and the church archives are invaluable for researching local family history. Many older registers held have been imaged and transcribed and are available online or in digital format by request. Access to archives usually by prior appointment during monthly ‘Open Door’ sessions on the second Saturday of the month between 10am and 12pm.

Take a virtual tour of St John’s:

St John’s Church

Bath Street Frome, Somerset, BA11