River Frome, Somerset
Bridge at Tellisford over the River Frome
|- location||Witham Friary, Mendip, Somerset, England|
|Freshford, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset, England|
|- left||Mells River, Henhambridge Brook|
|- right||Maiden Bradley Brook, Rodden Brook|
The River Frome is a river in Somerset, England. It rises near Witham Friary, flows north through Blatchbridge to the town of Frome, and continues in a generally northerly direction to join the Bristol Avon at Freshford, below Bradford on Avon.
The river is approximately 44 kilometres (27 mi) in length, comprising 15km from its source to the confluence with Maiden Bradley Brook, 10km through Frome to the confluence with the Mells River, and 18km to the Avon. Below Frome the river passes close to Beckington, Rode, Tellisford, Farleigh Hungerford and Iford Manor.
The name Frome comes from the Old British word ffraw meaning fair, fine or brisk and describing the flow of the river. The name was first recorded in 701 when Pope Sergius gave permission to Bishop Aldhelm to found a monastery "close to the river which is called From" (Latin: "juxta fluvium qui vocatur From").
There are many bridges on the river. In the centre of Frome, the first bridge perhaps appeared in the 14th century. A later 16th-century bridge was widened in the 18th century and buildings were built across it. It remains one of only three bridges in England that have buildings across them; the others are the Pulteney Bridge in Bath and the High Bridge in Lincoln. Other significant bridges include that at Wallbridge in Frome, dated 1634, upstream of the Frome bridge. Downstream are Rode bridge, a turnpike bridge from around 1777; Tellisford bridge, a packhorse bridge probably from the 17th century; Iford bridge, circa 1400; and Freshford bridge, 16th century.
On 2 May 1932 five boys, one of them on his 9th birthday, were watching floodwater from an old mill bridge just upstream from the main bridge in Frome. The old bridge collapsed; one of the boys was pulled out by friends. A police constable dived in to save the others; the waters took him through the arches of the main bridge but then his cape was caught up by branches and he was pulled out. The next day four bodies were retrieved at Welshmill.
- "Frome - source to conf Maiden Bradley Bk". Environment Agency - Catchment Data Explorer. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "Frome - (Maiden Bradley to Mells)". Environment Agency - Catchment Data Explorer. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "Somerset Frome conf with Mells to conf B. Avon". Environment Agency - Catchment Data Explorer. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Belham, Peter (1985). The Making of Frome (2 ed.). Frome society for local study.
- Annette Burkitt, Flesh and Bones of Frome Selwood and Wessex, 2017, The Hobnob Press, p341 ISBN 978 1 906978 50 1
- "River Frome (Somerset)". British Canoe Union South West. Archived from the original on 18 November 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2008.
- "An archaeological assessment of Frome" (PDF). English Heritage Extensive Urban Survey. 2003. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "WALL BRIDGE, Frome - 1057739". historicengland.org.uk. Historic England. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Historic England. "Rode Bridge (1175476)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Historic England. "Bridge over River Frome, Tellisford (1176205)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Historic England. "Iford Bridge (1115316)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- Historic England. "Freshford Bridge (1158368)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
- "Dark Somerset". SomersetLive.co.uk. Retrieved 7 February 2019.