About Rook Lane Chapel & the Arts Trust
Rook Lane is a space for art, architecture, performance and education. A unique arts centre housed in a restored 18th century chapel, Rook Lane is home to NVB Architects and the base for Rook Lane Arts Trust.
The chapel was built in 1707 and served the community of Frome until 1968, but what followed was 25 years of dereliction. Through the 1990s, the space was used by artists for informal workshops, performances and exhibitions until 2001 when NVB Architects moved in to renovate the chapel and build a contemporary annex at the rear.
From 2003 - 2013, the arts programme at the Chapel was managed by Rook Lane Arts Trust whose remit was to use the space to promote the arts and education in Frome. The Trust handed over the running of the building and venue to NVB Architects in July 2013, but retain an active role in the programme, and in fundraising for education projects based on site.
Rook Lane works with a number of creative partners across art, music, education and design to deliver a diverse and dynamic year-long programme of events. The activities that take place within the space combine a respect for the past, but also celebrate the contemporary. The Chapel continues to be used by the community of Frome, showcasing the work of local artists and musicians, whilst drawing in those from further afield, bringing the very best in arts and culture to the town.
Rook Lane Chapel is equipped with portable seating and staging. There is also a theatrical lighting rig, in-built PA, and an integrated exhibition hanging system. Complementing the renovated original structure, there is a striking contemporary bar/cafe area continuing the hanging space and landscaped garden, designed by NVB Architects, to the rear of the chapel. The Chapel is now available for Weddings and to hire for private events.
But it’s wonderful for people like myself who worked on the repair to come here and see it so beautifully finished, being used for exactly the purpose we wanted it used for, for public, for arts and for the use of the community of Frome. It’s wonderful.
Hugh Stafford, Secretary to the Somerset Buildings Preservation Trust 1991