Hundred of Frome

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The Hundred of Frome is one of the 40 historical Hundreds in the ceremonial county of Somerset, England,[1] dating from before the Norman conquest during the Anglo-Saxon era although exact dates are unknown. Each hundred had a 'fyrd', which acted as the local defence force and a court which was responsible for the maintenance of the frankpledge system.[2] They also formed a unit for the collection of taxes.[3] The role of the hundred court was described in the Dooms (laws) of King Edgar. The name of the hundred was normally that of its meeting-place.[4]

Frome Hundred
37,620 acres (15,220 ha)
 • Createdunknown
 • HQFrome
 • TypeParishes

The Hundred of Frome was the largest hundred in the county and had its headquarters in the town of Frome.[5] It consisted of the ancient parishes of: Frome-Selwood, and the parishes of Beckington, Berkeley, Cloford, East Cranmore, Elm, Laverton, Leigh, Luddington, Marston Bigott, Mells, Nunney, Orchardleigh, Road, Rodden, Standerwick, Wanstrow, Whatley, Witham Friary, and Woolverton.[6] It covered an area of 37,620 acres (15,220 ha).[7]

The importance of the hundred courts declined from the seventeenth century. By the 19th century several different single-purpose subdivisions of counties, such as poor law unions, sanitary districts, and highway districts sprang up, filling the administrative role previously played by parishes and hundreds. Although the Hundreds have never been formally abolished, their functions ended with the establishment of county courts in 1867[8] and the introduction of districts by the Local Government Act 1894.[9]


  1. ^ "Frome Hundred". A vision of Britain through time. University of Portsmouth. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  2. ^ "Administrative Units Typology | Status definition: Hundred". Vision of Britain. Retrieved 2010-01-31.
  3. ^ "The Shire and the Hundred". Somerset County Council. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
  4. ^ "Summary". Institute of Archaeology. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  5. ^ Gathercole, Clare. "Frome". Somerset Urban Archaeological Surveys. Somerset County Council. Archived from the original on 25 October 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  6. ^ "About this web site". Frome Hundred. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Somerset Hundreds". GENUKI. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  8. ^ County Courts Act 1867 (30 & 31 Vict. c. 142) s.28
  9. ^ "Mapping the Hundreds of England and Wales in GIS". University of Cambridge Department of Geography. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.