in Frome, which did not happen.

Rook Lane c.1990


Built in 1707, in ROOK LANE CHAPEL is one of the earliest and most beautiful Non-Conformist Chapels in the British Isles.

In the 1990s we had hoped to establish the World's first and foremost Puzzle Centre and Museum in this beautiful building in Frome, Somerset, UK.

Situated between between Bath & Stonehenge, it belonged to Mendip District Council and was ideally placed to attract enough visitors to be self-funding once it had been founded.


We planned to have five sections:-

  • A traditional MUSEUM display of the unique collection of several thousand antique and modern puzzles, from 300 BC to next years plastic prototypes.

  • A large area of INTERACTIVE PUZZLES similar to those designed for PuzzleQuest in Wales, The Exploratory in Bristol, The Ontario Science Centre in Canada, and Questacon in Australia.

  • An small ART GALLERY showing changing display of work by contemporary artists whose work is related to puzzles, illusions and enigmas.


  • A PUZZLE CAFE in which to recover.

The building had fallen into decay but the outer fabric of the building had been restored and Mendip District Council, in conjunction with James Dalgety, tried to secure funding from the Lottery Heritage Fund for the final restoration and fitting out of the building.

The major requirement was for an extension to contain facilities such as class-rooms, toilets, workshop and library, which would enable it to be used as The Puzzle Centre and Museum without spoiling the beautiful Grade I building.

Interior 1995


HRH Prince of Wales

We worked on the project for several years. In the summer of 1995 His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales visited the Chapel to see how the restoration of the building was proceeding. He was most encouraging about the Puzzle Project.

See a model of our plans for the building at the bottom of this page.

In December 1997, the Lottery Heritage Fund rejected Mendip District Council's grant application.
After so many encouraging years, this was a great disappointment; so we regretfully abandoned this project.

After a further six years the building was put to use again. For a tour see The Rooks Lane Arts Trust.


When we were trying to establish the Museum in Frome, we already had a wonderful collection of many thousands of puzzles. However, ironically, since the Frome project was abandoned, the collection has grown to many times the size and is now the world's finest and largest collection. It is now far larger than required for a tourism based museum. It should,however, be made available to a wider public, perhaps as an international archive with a public museum attached.

We hope that, before too many years go by, someone, somewhere, will help create a Puzzlers Paradise as home for the expanded collection.


A 1995 model of the proposal for
Rook Lane Chapel Puzzle Centre.
Model back