Axminster Heritage Centre
Autumn and Winter Opening Hours
Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00am – 4:00pm
Saturdays 10:00 – 1:00pm
Face coverings while inside our building (unless exempt)
Our one-way system
2m social distancing
Our hand sanitising stations
From Monday 1st November 2021until 2nd April 2022 we will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00am to 4:00pm
Welcome to Axminster Heritage
The Axminster story: More than just Carpets.
Discover the history of the town • Celebrate its carpets, crafts and skills • Meet and join with today’s community
Search the website…
How to get involved with Axminster Heritage
Sign up for our Events and Workshops Calender
The New Axminster Heritage Centre
opened April 2019…
The New Heritage Centre provides tourist and local information, a gift shop and a new extended museum. Our friendly volunteers are very welcoming and will be pleased to help you.
A New Extended Museum…
Thia is where ‘The Story of Axminster’ and local history are brought to life in a modern interactive display exhibition for all the whole family. Children can enjoy their own trail with dressing up points and interactive activities.
The Dye House, Courtyard and Garden…
In the courtyard, beside the restored Dye House, our garden helps you learn about the plants used to create the dyes used to colour Axminster carpets.
To complement our permanent exhibition we regularly present and host temporary exhibitions, Check ‘What’s On’ for information.
Information for Tourists and Local Residents…
Find places to visit in the local area, local event information, walks, cycle routes, bus timetables and much more.
Axminster Heritage Alive…
Join in our extensive programme of friendly events, including talks, art and craft courses, films and coach trips. Check ‘What’s On’
The Bradshaw Meeting Room…
A comfortable venue with a kitchenette, digital projector and Wi-Fi is available to hire for meetings, classes, and community gatherings. Check ‘Venue Hire’
The town has origins in the Bronze and Stone Ages, later becoming a crossroads on the Roman Fosse Way. It became a busy agricultural market town post its 1210 charter and an important brush making centre, notably for toothbrushes. Axminster’s world famous quality carpet making business is at the heart of our story. A local man, Thomas Whitty, set up his manufactory in 1755 and it ran until 1835. We regularly add new displays relating to different community interests, these complement our permanent exhibitions.
In addition to the displays in the Gallery we regularly present talks, films, craft courses and social events, see the ‘What’s On’ for details. Fittingly all this is housed on the site of the factory Whitty built for his family business and which subsequently served the town as a court-house and a hospital.
Can You Help Us?
Be a part of writing our history
We are always interested in new information, photographs and material about Axminster and the surrounding villages, and keen to receive comments, corrections and suggestions from people who know the town well, and have views on events which have shaped it. From time to time we have questions about projects with which you may be able to help.