A selection of the maps and plans of the Frome area held at Frome Museum will be on display from Tuesday 6th September to Saturday 15th October.
Pride of place will be given to the 1:500 scale Ordnance Survey maps of the town centre, which the museum recently obtained grants to have conserved.
The maps date from 1886 and the scale is large enough to show garden paths, flowerbeds, shrubs, wells and water pumps. Some of the maps have been annotated with red ink and show, to scale, all the new housing and factories built after 1886.
The annotated maps are absolutely unique and extremely important to the history of the town. They were all in such a poor condition that they were literally falling to bits and the museum dared not produce them for anyone to look at. This was a pity because the maps and plans are invaluable for anyone wishing to research the growth of Frome or study the history of one particular building.
Frome Museum are very grateful to Frome Town Council and a charitable trust in London for giving enough money to get eight of the set of 16 maps conserved.
Conservation took four months. Tim Gabler, formerly conservation officer at UK Hydro-graphic Office, Taunton, and Mervyn Richens, conservation officer at Somerset Record Office, Taunton, did the work for the museum using the up-to-date facilities of the map conservation room at the new Somerset Heritage Centre, Taunton.
Other items going on display include early maps of Frome, a map of a proposed town centre bye-pass scheme from 1837, detailed plans for the Frome Union Workhouse, architects drawings, archaeological drawings from a nineteenth century dig and a top-secret wartime map.
Frome Museum is open from 10.00am till 2.00pm Tuesday to Saturday.