The Blue Boar Frome

Theophilus Lacey built the The Blue Boar Inn Frome in 1961.

1691 is a special number. If written in some fonts, it shows the same number upside down. William III and Mary II had only been on the throne for three years.  William, humourless, surly, with a crooked nose and black teeth, married a distraught 15-year-old Mary in 1677. At the time, she had a crush on an older woman. Charles II had given Mary away, and when he put the newlyweds to bed, William refrained from removing his under garments. He said he always slept with them on.  Charles was having none of it! He drew the curtains around the bed saying, “Now, nephew to your work! Hey! Saint George for England!”

In the 1720s, the Frome Town Bridge was renovated and the Blue House was having a partial rebuild. With some left-over money, a new guardhouse or ‘lock up’ was built on the Blue House grounds, adjoining the Blue Boar Inn.  It apparently replaced the Blindhouse in the St John’s churchyard.

The Blindhouse

Most communities had a Blindhouse.  The one in Frome was a vault-like underground stone cell with a barred opening for concerned relatives to lower food to those interned. Drunk, distruption and unruly men and sometimes women, were locked up in the Blindhouse. to sleep off the alcohol. The building of course had no windows, so when they woke up, sober, they thought they were blind as it was so dark. Thus we get the expression of ‘blind drunk.

The Blue Boar Frome One of Oldest

By 1774 there were forty three inns on the Frome map, excluding those slightly further out like the Royal Oak, The Crown in Keyford or even The Vine Tree. The Blue Boar Inn, Frome, is one of those older survivors and was much larger than it is today.  The back yard of the pub was large enough to provide for coaches and carriages coming in and out of the town centre.

When the Frome police station opened in 1857, the ‘lock up’ possibly moved to the police station. The guardhouse was converted to men’s conveniences. In the early 1960s it was demolished. Corner stonework may be seen today in the walls of the Blue Boar Inn