Plumbers are traditionally known for forgetting their tools. No doubt the people of Frampton on April 20th., 1796 wished their plumber who was repairing the lead on the church roof had stayed away altogether because on that day he produced sparks which caused a fire in some straw and before it could be controlled 43 houses west of the church were destroyed.
Frampton was an ancient British settlement and the Romans left fine tessellated pavements. One of the first things you notice about the village today is that it is completely lop-sided, with lots of attractive cottages on one side of the main street and nothing on the other. The owner of Frampton Court, since demolished, had them all removed in about 1840 to 'improve' his park.
The Gate House Parlour, (restaurant and pine/antique shop), was once the Gatehouse to the Frampton Estate, and the Wessex Barn, now a guest house was formerly a coaching inn called the Red Lion. The old school has been turned into a dwelling, and houses still exist which housed the men who came to build the railway in 1840.
The church of St. Mary is an oddity. The tower corners are two huge columns, one on top of the other. with pinnacles above. This classical body with a medieval hat was built in 1695. The body of the church seems wider than it is long. The chancel arch and the south arcade date from about 1500, but the mock medieval aisles gained their present appearance in about 1820.
The church is full of memorials to fighting men. An effigy of Rear Admiral Sir John Browne who helped defeat the Spanish Armada lies on his tomb. He is wearing tilting Armour and through his visor his moustache is visible. There is also a bust of Richard Brinsley Sheridan who was killed in action at Cape Colony in 1901. Below the bust is his sword, with South African medal attached, crossed with that of his brother William Temple Sheridan who was killed at Loos in 1918. A plaque records that from this village of only 300 people, twenty one men made the supreme sacrifice in the 1914-18 War.
It was Mrs Caroline Norton, a lady well known in society circles in London in the 19th century and a Sheridan, who was responsible for introducing William Barnes and his work to London society. A frequent visitor to the family home at Frampton, it was here that she met the gentle parson whose poetry was becoming popular. So impressed was she with William that she took him under her wing and Wlillam attended house parties at Frampton, but although his wife was never invited I am assured that there was never any cause for scandal.