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Rook Lane Chapel, Frome   Grade I

Rook Lane Chapel FromeThe SBPT's second restoration

Built in 1705, the Chapel was the place of worship for generations of Frome Nonconformists.  To get away from the Catholic tradition of ceremony and processions, the building was square with two pillars supporting the roof and a gallery around three sides.  It become so popular that a schoolroom was built and later extended.

Over the years parts of the congregation moved elsewhere and, by the 1960s there were too few remaining members to make the Chapel viable.  It was sold to developers who were unable to find a suitable use for the building that could be given planning permission.  Lead was stolen from the roof, vandals broke in, smashed all the memorials and brought down the gallery.  It became a national scandal.

Following a compulsory purchase order, the SBPT acquired the building and set about raising money from English Heritage, national charitable grant giving bodies and local fund raising.  Major repairs were needed to the roof and walls.  This important building, one of the most prominent in Frome, was a major challenge to the SBPT.  Now restored and looking magnificent, it is owned by a firm of architects who converted the Chapel into a superb community facility for exhibitions, receptions, meetings and concerts on the ground floor.  The galleried upper floor is used as office space.  A modern but complementary extension has been William Stansell/SBPT Awards for picture of this extension).

Rook Lane Chapel Frome after restorationIf you wish to hire these facilities, please contact The Rook Lane Arts Trust on 01373 468030.