Welcome to Axminster Heritage


Axminster Heritage Centre will unfortunately be closing to the public as a precautionary measure from FRIDAY 20 MARCH 2020.  We have not had any cases that we know of among visitors or our volunteers but feel that as several of our volunteers fall within the government’s ‘at higher risk’ category, we feel it is best policy to close to protect them. This means that we will not be open for the foreseeable future. This not only relates to the Museum and Axminster Information Point but also all of our events that are run by Heritage Alive which have also been postponed until further notice.

Nigel Sadler, Centre Manager, “Our aim is to protect our volunteers and visitors at this time of uncertainty and to give visitors and everyone involved at the Heritage Centre peace of mind. We feel that to be proactive in the decision-making process rather than having to wait on government action is the best way to go for us.’

Regarding the Bradshaw Meeting Room this will be closed from Monday 23 March. We will have notified all groups that use the room by this date.  we apologise for any inconvenience however this is for the safety of you as well as others.

We hope our actions will encourage the community to be mindful and ensure you are taking safety precautions for both individuals and businesses. If you are unaware of these, you can access them on the NHS website or if you are concerned that you may have caught the Coronavirus please phone 111 for advice.

To be kept informed of what we are doing at the Axminster Heritage Centre you can either monitor the ‘news’ section on our website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

We tell the Axminster story

Discover the history of the town • Celebrate its carpets, crafts and skills • Meet and join with today’s community

Just dropping in or passing by?

Visit our Heritage Centre in the heart of the town
Get a flavour of our Local History, check out our Events, take a Town Trail or find things to do at Tourist Information

Want to dig a little deeper?

If you want more in-depth information explore our extensive local history pages find surviving early Axminster carpets or browse our photographic gallery

Like to take part in local activities?

Come along and join us for a friendly programme of events to inspire and enjoy

Want to get involved?

Join our team, meet interesting people, make new friends or learn new skills. Become a Member, leave us a legacy in your will or nominate us for a donation when you shop online

Search the website…

Upcoming Events

Visit The New Axminster Heritage Centre…

Get tourist and local information, browse our gift shop and step inside our new extended museum. You’ll be welcomed by our friendly volunteers who will be pleased to help you.

A New Extended Museum…
Where ‘The Story of Axminster’ and local history are brought to life in a modern interactive display exhibition for all the 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 dyes to colour Axminster carpets.

Temporary Exhibitions…
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, local event information and tickets, 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’

Call us

01297 639884

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.

Contact Us

Please feel free to send us your message or inquiry and we'll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can.

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