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Witham Friary Local History Day

13th May 2023 @ 10:00 - 16:00

Witham Friary

The Witham Friary History Society is proud that Witham Friary will be the ‘Village Focus’ for the first ever Frome Local History Festival.

We look forward to welcoming you!


Tea, coffee and biscuits available from 10am in the village hall.

10.30am – 11.15am Witham Friary through the ages

Mike Gorman gallops through the history of Witham Friary from the Stone Age to the present day by way of the Romans, Henry II, Thomas Becket, Carthusian monks, the English Civil War, the agricultural and industrial revolutions and into the modern era. Venue: Village Hall.

11.30am- 12pm Tour of the parish church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St John the Baptist and All Saints.  George Pritchard talks about this former chapel of the Carthusian brothers, and its links to Lincoln Cathedral through St Hugh, one of the greatest medieval saints.

12 noon. The Sweetland organ.  Margaret Pritchard will give a short talk and recital on this significant 19th century organ which was extensively repaired in 2018.

After that, take a stroll round the peaceful churchyard, and cross the road to see inside the 13th century Dovecote. Ian Messider will be on hand with information about the Dovecot.

12.30pm – 2pm Time for refreshment at the Seymour Arms

Described by the Campaign for Real Ale as ‘a historic pub interior of national importance…the adjective ‘timeless’ was invented for places like this’. Relax,  enjoy a drink and buy a pulled pork roll or a vegetarian lunch, or bring your own picnic. NB: cash payment for food preferred.

1.30pm A short history of the pub

Hear a short presentation by Chris Featherstone about the pub which was built in 1861 and has been run by the same family almost continuously since 1889. Venue: pub marquee or inside if wet.

2pm-4pm Witham Friary history walks

A short walk on the road to see two ancient oak trees possibly dating from before the Norman Conquest and which were part of Selwood Forest.  There is a fine view of the village and surrounding area from the top of this field.

For those interested, there will then be the opportunity to walk to the site of the monastery and the monastery fish ponds. Please note the ground for this 3 mile walk is uneven and can be muddy, so suitable footwear will be required.

2pm onwards. Tea and cakes for sale in the Village Hall Kindly provided by the ladies of Witham Friary Women’s Institute.

Village hall exhibition

Throughout the day there will be a display of village artefacts and memorabilia in the village hall.  Copies of local history books and Village Voices, a collection of reminiscences and photographs of Witham life will be available for purchase.

There is no charge for these events but donations to the Witham Friary History Society will be welcome.


13th May 2023
10:00 - 16:00
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Witham Friary History Society