How did Frome get its Name?

The town of Frome was originally located on the edge of a large wood, which was known as ‘coit mawr’, or ‘the great wood’. The area was characterised by swamps and littered with willows.  Through the English and Saxon languages, the name evolved into ‘Seal wuda’ and eventually into ‘Selwood’ and became home to a collection of tribes.

The Selwood ridge not only separates Somerset from Wiltshire, it also provides a home for the seeping stream, which we call the River Frome today, which to the ancient people was sacred. It is believed that the Welsh adjective of ‘ffraw’, meaning ‘fair, fine or brisk’ gave us the first name for the river – the word coming from the language branch called Brythonic, specifically Briton and not Gaelic or Anglo-Saxon. Thus the town name of Frome was first recorded in 701 as ‘From’.

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