Saxon Stones at St John the Baptist, Frome

These Saxon Stones have been built into the wall of the tower. The upper stone is believed to be part of the shaft of a Saxon cross. Where these stones came from we do not really know but we do know that St. Aldhelm, Abbot of Malmesbury and the first Bishop of Sherbourne died at Doultlng a village nine miles west of Frome, near Shepton Mallet. His body was carried to Malmesbury for burial. At the end of each day the procession, bearing the body, rested at various towns and villages en route, Frome being one of those resting places. St Aldhelm’s reputation as a Holy Man of God was such that in every place where his body rested for the night a Cross was erected in his memory.

Some 400 years later, when the Church at Frome was extended and greatly enlarged, we like to think that the cross was demolished to allow for the extension to take place and that the stones of the cross were reused in the wall of the enlarged church. Hence these stones could be part of that cross erected originally to mark a resting place of St Aldhelm on his journey from Doulting to Malmesbury.