617At around this time the Saxons moved into Devon from the East.
755First recorded use of the name 'Ascanmynster'.
789Cynehard the Atheling, heir to the throne of Wessex, is buried at Axminster.
840An era of repeated Viking raids on Devon (836 to 845).
899King Alfred's will passes the Manor of Axminster, by then a 'burh' (defended town) and principal settlement in the Hundred of Axminster, to his eldest son.
901The Witan (Royal Council) meets at Axminster.
937A major battle is fought near Axminster between the Saxons and the Vikings.
1003Exeter sacked by the Vikings.
1086Exeter subdued by the Normans.
1086The Domesday Book records substantial settlements in the Axe valley, at Axminster, Kilmington, Musbury, Colyton and Axmouth.
1086The Domesday Book records grist mills as well as settlements at Weycroft and Smallridge (Undercleave).
27September1204King John makes William, Lord Briwer (or Brewer), the first Lord of the Manor of Axminster. The right to hold weekly markets is confirmed by charter.
May1209King John grants a further charter to William Briwer (or Brewer), giving him the right to hold a week-long market at Axminster.
1246The Manor of Axminster is given to the Cistercians of Beaulieu to build an Abbey at Newenham (they also had Abbeys at Forde and Dunkeswell).
1250At around this time the Saxon Church is re-built in Norman style.
1255The Abbey allows Axminster to establish 'burgage plots' (an important step in the transition from village to town).
1315Newenham Abbey is trading in wool and woollen products with Florentine merchants.
1330Newenham Abbey builds a farm at Breweshays (Westwater).
1333Newenham Abbey builds a farmhouse at Bevor, a farm of about 770 acres.
1345Newenham Abbey has farms at Tollershayes (Tolcis) and Yeatlands.
1348The Abbot and two monks are the only survivors of the Black Death at Newenham Abbey.
1376A chapel is licensed at Uphay by Bishop Brantyngham.
1395Sir Thomas Brooke of Olditch buys the Weycroft estate, and builds a mansion and chapel.
1417A chapel is licensed at Weycroft by Bishop Stafford.
1427Sir Thomas Brooke encloses 800 acres at Weycroft.
Approx1460Weycroft Manor in disrepair, and the park is cultivated.
November1497King Henry VII stays at Newenham Abbey for a week.
1509The mouth of the Axe is blocked to shipping by a sand bar thrown up by a huge storm.
1535Newenham Abbey's lands include distinct farms at Bevor, Furzeleigh, Shapwyke and Westwater.
8March1539Newenham Abbey and its property is surrendered to the King's Commissioners. The Market continues.
25February1543Ownership of Newenham Abbey is settled on Catherine Parr on her marriage to King Henry VIII. A few years after her death it reverts briefly to the Crown.
1574First mention (in a survey of the Manor) of the George Inn, Axminster.
1592The town's citizens are involved in a dispute with a mill owner over the water supply, by then about 40 years old, which starts on Furzeleigh Down.
1603Weycroft Manor and mansion forfeited to the Crown, and settled on the Earl of Devon.
1605The Manor of Axminster is bought for £7,200 by Baron Petre of Writtle (Essex), whose family held it for over 200 years.
1611The Weycroft estate is bought by Sir Thomas Bennett, Sheriff of London, then broken up and sold.
1613Many Axminster residents are killed by an outbreak of Plague, which lasts for several weeks.
Approx1640The Manor of Smallridge is broken up and sold in small parcels.
January1644Royalist forces set fire to Ashe House after Parliamentary forces from Lyme had sought to establish a garrison there (the Drake family supported Parliament).
19April1644Axminster is garrisoned by Prince Maurice and his Royalist troops and artillery, from 19 April to 15 June, as they lay siege to Lyme, damaging it badly but not capturing it.
EarlyNovember1644Royalist forces re-enter Axminster and start to settle in.
15November1644Parliamentary forces from Lyme attack Axminster in a pre-emptive strike. The town is badly damaged by fire.
18November1644Parliamentarians return and destroy the remaining houses and workshops. This was the most complete damage suffered by any English town during the Civil War.
October1645Sir Thomas Fairfax (Parliamentary General) bases his force at Axminster. There is fighting at Membury.
1645Lord Petre estimates his costs for re-building Axminster at £10,000. He re-built about 200 houses and associated workshops (and there will have been others).
26June1650John Churchill born (see below for further details).
18June1650John Churchill of Ashe House and Great Trill baptised at Axminster. His mother was born Elizabeth Drake, daughter of the former Steward of Newenham Abbey.
1658The first coach service from London to Exeter (via Axminster) begins. Journey time: 4 days.
By1660A small school is operating in Axminster, run by Rev Bartholomew Ashwood.
1660An octagonal font is installed in the Church, replacing one which had been destroyed during the Civil War.
February1663John Brocas is killed while ringing the Parish Church bells: strangled by the rope of a bell which had been cast in 1647, and was known after his death as the 'Brocas bell'.
1665John Churchill is appointed a Page to the Duke of York (the future James II).
8April1669Cosmo de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, visits Axminster (described by Count Megalotti, his Secretary, as about 289 houses mostly built of cob and thatch).
1670Shapwick, the largest of the former Newenham Abbey grange farms, is sold to Solomon Andrew of Lyme Regis (and later to the Rhodes family).
24July1671King Charles II passes through Axminster on his way back to London, accompanied by the Duke of Monmouth. The Church bells are rung.
1676The 'Compton Census' records 889 conformists in Axminster parish, 128 non-conformists and one Catholic.
1678A beacon (probably not the first) is erected on Trinity Hill by warrant of magistrates, and at a cost of £28. The precise location has not been identified.
1685The 'arctic winter' of 1684/85 brings hardship to the town.
1685The Duke of Monmouth stops in Axminster on his way to defeat at the Battle of Sedgmoor. He was executed soon after.
10September1685Two Axminster men sentenced to death at Dorchester for supporting the Monmouth rebellion. John Bull of Uphay was hanged, but Malachi Mallack was later pardoned.
3November1685One supporter of the Duke of Monmouth (Mr Rose, a gunner who landed with the Duke, not an Axminster resident) is hanged at Axminster.
1685John Churchill is created a Baron. He was a commander at the battle of Sedgmoor.
1686Judge Jeffreys holds a hearing at Axminster (as part of the 'bloody Assizes').
15November1688William of Orange lands at Torbay, invited by politicians concerned at James II's Catholic leanings.
24November1688During William of Orange's 3-night stay in Axminster, John Churchill defects from James II to support William, and 'The Glorious Revolution'.
1692John Churchill is sent to the Tower of London on suspicion of treason against William of Orange.
1698An Independent Church is built at Axminster, on Chard Street.
1700Morris (an Exeter-based carrier of goods) uses the Dolphin Inn, Market Square as his base in Axminster.
Approx1710Terrace Lodge (later re-named Pippins) is built for Henry Knight.
14May1714Thomas Whitty (later known as senior) is baptised at Axminster.
16June1722Death of John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, the most successful General of his day; at Cranbourn Lodge, Windsor.
1731Outbreak of smallpox in Axminster.
Approx1732Cloakham House is built for Edward Smith, a leading Quaker.
1738The first Workhouse is established in Axminster, on West Street.
1739The first known reference is made to the existence of a fire engine in Axminster.
1740Thomas Whitty junior is born at Axminster.
23September1743John Wesley's first visit to Axminster, at the invitation of an existing group of residents sypmathtic to his cause, to whom he preaches.
31April1744John Wesley stops briefly in the town at midday as he heads towards Cornwall.
1746A Free School is established in Axminster.
1746Charles Wesley visits Axminster, and preaches.
1750John Pester, rector of Axminster, reports that there are about 220 houses in Axminster, and another 120 in the rest of the parish. These may be under-estimates.
1753The London-to-Exeter road (through Axminster) becomes a toll road.
25April1754Thomas Whitty makes a sample of carpet on a conventional loom.
22June1755Thomas Whitty finishes making a new perpendicular frame loom for knotted carpets.
1758Oak House, Chard Street is built for Simon Bunter, a local attorney.
1759Fire destroys several houses in the town centre, and the Cross Keys Inn (where the George now stands).
1759The George Inn is built in its present location, by Mr Drake. It becomes the premier coaching inn of the town.
1759Thomas Whitty wins the third Royal Society competition for carpet manufacture outright, having shared first place with others the two previous years.
1760Exeter carpet factory goes bankrupt.
1760The Golden Lion Inn, an important coaching inn where Trinity Square now stands, is destroyed by fire.
1761Hilary House is built for Amos Collard, a local attorney and Steward to the Petre estate. In 1763 he sells it to John Knight, his successor in both roles.
1763A Friendly Society for men is founded in Axminster.
Approx1765John Knight establishes a Catholic chapel at his home, Hilary House, for the use of his local co-religionists.
30August1766After a gap of 20 years John Wesley re-visits Axminster, and preaches (indoors that evening, but the next morning (Sunday) in the market place).
1766A Friendly Society for women is founded in Axminster.
1767The invention of the 'Spinning Jenny' spells the beginning of the end for an important Devon cottage industry.
1767An unsuccessful attempt is made to sink a coal mine at Pinney Wood, near Weycroft.
22September1768John Wesley again visits, and preaches at, Axminster.
1773The invention of the 'Flying Shuttle' marks the start of large-scale weaving, and the decline of another cottage industry.
1774A Wesleyan Meeting House is established in Axminster.
1776The winter is particularly cold, with snow still lying in March.
1776Castle Hill House, North Street is built for Robert Hallett, a local wine and spirit merchant, and manufacturer of tapes.
4August1778John Wesley's last visit to Axminster, aged 75, where he is well received, and preaches in the market place to a large congregation.
1778A detailed map of the Petre Estate's land holdings in Axminster parish is completed, by James Haywood.
1780The Market House with a Guildhall Room set above the butchers' stalls (with the shambles behind) is demolished.
1780John Thatcher, bailiff to the Petre estate, is appointed Captain of the Fire Brigade.
1782The Manor of Trill is sold by the Drake family (of Ashe House, Musbury) to the Rev. George Tucker.
1782A new fire engine is given to the town by the Petre estate.
12March1784William Buckland is born at Axminster. He became a leader of the new science of geology, and (from 1845) Dean of Westminster.
27March1784Samuel Ramson Whitty, last member of the family to make carpets, is born at Axminster.
1785The first Mail Coach service from London to Exeter (via Axminster) is established. Journey time: 24 hours.
Approx1785A visitor to Axminster reports being unable to get any butter, because it was all being sold to London merchants.
1786A fire adjacent to the White Hart destroys 15 dwellings.
1787Hail and sleet storms are followed by frosts in June.
26July1787John Adams (later President of the USA) and his wife Abigail visit Axminster, and the carpet factory.
13August1789King George III and Queen Charlotte visit Axminster, and the carpet factory.
September1789A fire in Market Place is stopped from spreading by men from the 1st Regiment of the Dragoon Guards.
April1790A major snow storm hits Devon.
13August1793Death of Thomas Whitty senior at Axminster.
1795A bank is founded by Axminster at Messrs Hallett, Steven & Whitty jr.
1796A fire destroys the Methodist Meeting House on South Street (and 18 houses). A replacement chapel is built on Castle Street.
1796The Western Academy, a training college for the Congregational Church (later United Reform Church) opens on West Street.
1797The Old Vicarage is built on Silver Street, opposite the Old Carpet Factory.
Approx1798Axminster School moves to a site on West Street.
August1799Death of Thomas Whitty junior, at Axminster.
by1800Moorfield carpet factory (one of Whitty's last remaining British competitors) goes bankrupt.
1800Improvement works to the Parish Church are completed, including a new south aisle (in place of the south transept, which was demolished), and the installation of an organ.
1800An exceptionally dry year with a very hot summer.
1800The Western Hotel (later the Anchor, the Railway Inn and the Cavalier) is built.
15July1808Severe hail and thunder storms affect Devon, leading to crop losses.
20April1809Significant snow storms are experienced.
1810Death of Thomas Whitty, eldest son of Thomas Whitty junior, leaving his younger brother, Samuel Ramson Whitty, in sole charge of the family business.
1812Prices for woollen cloth are seriously depressed, while food prices are high, due to the Napoleonic wars.
1814The last of the 'London ice fairs' marks the end of the mini ice-age which affected the whole country.
1816The volcanic eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia in 1815 leads to the 'year with no summer' in Europe in 1816.
1817Samuel Thatcher takes over as Captain of the Fire Brigade.
22August1817A serious fire breaks out at the back of the George Hotel, destroying four other houses and killing 10 horses in Mr Warr's stables.
1819George Philip Rigney Pulman, author of the 'Book of the Axe' and founder of Pulman's Weekly News, is born at Axminster.
1820By this time Samuel Ramson Whitty employs over 100 persons, mostly women and children.
1820James Davidson, the leading historian of Axminster, buys Secktor.
1821A sixth bell is added to the Parish Church (there had been five since the time of Edward VI).
1821The census records a population of 1,700 for the town, and another 1,040 in the surrounding parish lands
1822Axminster School has 144 pupils.
1824Lord Petre sells most of his Axminster land (and the manorial rights) to James Alexander Frampton (a London lawyer) and William Knight (son of Lord Petre's former Steward).
25January1825William Tucker of Coryton, Kilmington buys a large portion of Westwater from the Manor of Axminster. By his death in 1855 he owned 780 acres in Axminster parish.
1825Hill House (later re-named Old Park) is built for Rawlin Mallack, a local attorney.
4July1826Lord Petre sells a large block of land (320 acres) including Bevor to Thomas Barns of Tillworth, Hawkchurch.
29November1826Axminster gets 21 street lights (one of the first towns in England to do so). Unfortunately the necessary funds do not materialise, and the lights are re-possessed.
Approx1826The new United Reform Chapel is opened on Chard Street, replacing the earlier (and adjacent) Independent Church.
January1828Samuel Ramson Whitty's Silver Street carpet factory is destroyed by fire.
1828The Western Academy (on West Street) closes.
March1829Samuel Ramson Whitty's new and larger carpet factory opens on Silver Street.
October1829A serious fire breaks out in the premises of Mr Dommett, a fell-monger. Eight houses and Mr Gammes' stables are all lost, and the Red Lion loses 30 hogsheads of strong beer.
By1829Thomas Russell & Co (an Exeter-based carrier of goods) used the Bell Inn as their local base from at least 1829 to 1853.
16August1831The first Catholic Church since the time of Henry VIII is opened in Axminster, lagely paid for by Henry Knight of Terrace Lodge.
1831The census records a population of 2,720 for the parish, living in 522 houses, of which roughly 330 would have been in the town itself.
1831Outbreak of cholera in Axminster.
1832The tunnel between Axminster and Charmouth is opened by Axminster Turnpike Trust, significantly assisting road links on the way to London.
1834The nave roof of the Church is raised to allow clerestory windows to be added.
May1834On Trinity Sunday a major fire damages or destroys a baker's shop and 20 other houses (affecting 30 families) in the town centre. The opportunity is taken to widen the road and create Trinity Square.
1834The new Axminster Poor Law Union, covering 17 parishes, is formed, and takes over responsibility for the workhouse and various other functions of public health and municipal governance.
1834Dissatisfaction among farm workers is highlighted by the Tolpuddle Martyrs case of 1834.
1835Samuel Ramson Whitty's carpet factory goes bankrupt. The machinery is moved to Wilton, near Salisbury.
1835A new and much larger Axminster (and district) Union Workhouse is built on the south side of town, replacing the one on West Street.
1836Axminster's only remaining manufacturer is Messrs Hallett & Fowler's tape-making business, on North Street.
1836South Street suffers a further serious fire.
1838The Tithe Apportionment process is carried out for Axminster parish (with accompanying map).
1838Axminster Gas Works is erected on Gas Lane and, after a gap of 12 years, street lighting is re-installed in Axminster town centre, this time more permanently.
1838A meeting of the Church Vestry decides not to spend any further money on the fire brigade (but does not scrap it).
8December1840The ecclesiastical parish of All Saints is created from parts of Axminster and Chardstock parishes.
1842The Axminster Turnpike Trust starts to build a new road round Kilmington Hill, down-slope from the old Roman Road alignment, and not so steep.
1844Freemasons establish a Lodge (Virtue & Honour) in Axminster. For the first 40 years meetings were held at The George Hotel.
1844Exeter is connected to Bristol via the first railway line to reach Devon. Axminster starts a 16-year period of relative disadvantage compared to much of East Devon.
1847Dorchester is connected to the rail network.
1848The railway line from Exeter is extended to Plymouth.
1850Canon William Daniel Conybeare, until recently vicar of Axminster, gives land from his holding as Lord of the Manor of Prestaller to allow a National School to be built on West Street.
1853Yeovil is connected to the rail network.
1854The railway line from Exeter to Barnstaple is completed.
11April1855Death of Samuel Ramson Whitty.
1October1855The churchyard is closed to further burials. The new cemetery on Chard Road is opened.
1855Devonshire Police Committee buys a house on Church Street, demolishes it and builds the Police Station and cells, with a room for Court hearings above.
1857Bridport is connected by rail to both London (via Dorchester) and Bristol.
1857Pulman's Weekly News is founded.
1859Construction of the Salisbury-to-Exeter railway line is in full swing at Axminster. The station is built.
18July1860Axminster is finally connected to the rail network, with its own station on the London-to-Exeter line.
1860A particularly wet year in Devon.
March1861The triple-lancet window at Newenham which features in older paintings of the Abbey ruins falls down.
1862The Catholic Church on Lyme Road is re-built by Henry Knight (son of the original benefactor).
29February1864James Davidson of Secktor House, the leading historian of Axminster, dies aged 70, and is buried at Axminster.
1865Outbreak of typhoid in Axminster.
1866James Boon moves his woolstapling and cloth business to Axminster from Uplyme, following a disastrous fire at his mill there.
1870The Church organ is moved to the south side of the choir, and the pulpit is restored to its original position.
1872Henry Knight (son of William, the joint purchaser of the Manor) becomes Lord of the Manor of Axminster.
10March1874A School Board is elected, chaired by William Forward, a local solicitor.
11July1874The newly-formed Axminster Cricket Club plays its first game, against Colyton.
1875Responsibility for functions such as water and sewerage pass from the Board of Guardians of the Poor Law Union to the newly-constituted Rural Sanitary District Authority.
1875The 'Board School' is opened on the former site of Paradise Lodge, between Chard Street and Lyme Road, with a total of 420 places for boys, girls and infants.
2November1875Lady Emma Tulloch of Old Park gives the land on which Woodbury (or South Axminster) National School is then built.
1877Axminster Turnpike Trust closes, with responsibilities passing to the Highways Board.
1879The former Dolphin Inn (on Market Square, by then being used as a warehouse and wine vaults) is damaged by fire. A further fire in 1881 ensures its demolition.
22July1879Serious flooding in Devon, and one of the coldest and wettest Summers recorded. Widespread crop failures.
1880Woodbury (or South Axminster) National School is expanded, providing 90 places for boys, girls and infants.
1880Blizzards throughout much of England leading to widespread losses of sheep.
3February1880George Philip Rigney Pulman, author of the 'Book of the Axe' and founder of Pulman's Weekly News, dies aged 60.
1881Devon is hit by a 48-hour blizzard.
Approx1881Edwin Dawkins establishes his drapery business on Victoria Place.
1882An exceptionally wet autumn leads to many winter crops not being planted at all.
1882The town's new water supply system is officially completed (though subject to repeated adjustments for many decades thereafter).
Approx1883James Coate moves his brush-making business (founded in London in 1847) to factories near Chard and in Axminster. Bidwell Brothers also move their factory to adjacent premises for a short while.
1883The Mission Chapel on Woodbury Lane is built with the financial support of Lady Emma Tulloch of Old Park.
24March1884Tithings of Shapwick and Beerhall transferred from Axminster parish to Uplyme and Thorncombe respectively.
1885An unusually dry year.
1886Two more bells are installed in the Parish Church, making eight in all.
Approx1886Edwin Chapple, local bank manager and insurance agent, revives the fire brigade.
21887Miss Emily Conybeare opens the 14-bed Axminster Cottage Hospital (expanding the existing facilities), in Whitty's former Silver Street carpet factory.
31887Another unusually dry year.
1June1887The Jubilee Fountain is erected in Trinity Square, replacing an older pump / fountain closer to the Church which dated from about 1834.
Approx1889Bidwell Brothers move their brush-making business (founded in London in 1839) from Ottery St Mary back to Axminster.
March1891Serious blizzards and deep snow drifts in Devon.
1893Hardly any rain falls from February to July.
1893The fire brigade fires a jet of water over the Church tower to demonstrate its vigour, and the improvements to the water supply.
1894The newly-formed Axminster Rural District Council, covering 15 parishes, takes over responsibility for several municipal governance functions. A Parish Council is also formed.
1894The Methodist Church on Lyme Road is built.
November1894Gales and floods throughout the lower Axe valley damage houses in Axminster and sweep away some bridges.
1894Heavy frosts and deep snowdrifts over the winter of 1894/95.
February1895In separate incidents, the Town Gas Works suffers a serious fire, and the partial collapse of one of the gasometers.
1895Civil War damage to the Church tower is finally repaired.
1897Church clock and chimes donated by W E Pitfield Chapple, solicitor and Chairman of the first Parish Council.
1898A ninth bell in installed is the Parish Church.
1898Axminster's old manual-pump fire engine is replaced by a steam-driven one, allowing water to be thrown 100 feet.
1901 A new organ is purchased for the Parish Church, with financial support from the Carnegie Foundation.
14November1902Axminster Town Football Club is formed.
24August1903The branch railway line from Axminster to Lyme Regis is opened.
1904Building work starts on Hillhead Terrace, Musbury Road, the largest development yet (of 22 houses) outside the old town footprint.
9June1904Devon County Council threatens legal action unless work is undertaken to improve Axminster's sewage disposal arrangements, and to protect the Axe from pollution.
1905The present organ, built by Norman & Beard, is installed in the Church.
1905Axminster Carnival is revived after a break of a few years (regular events were held during the 1890s, and a torchlight procession was held in 1900).
Approx1907King Edward Road is created, relieving the pressure on South Street and the town end of the Musbury Road.
January1909Axminster Men's Institute is established, meeting in the Gospel Hall, Castle Hill.
1909The first houses on Alexandra Road are built (the last ones being completed the following year, making 22 in all).
1September1911The foundation stone for the new Axminster Hospital is laid on the current (Chard Street) site.
18June1912The new Axminster Hospital is opened by Mrs Emily Conybeare Craven, long-time supporter of the earlier Silver Street hospital.
October1912The Livestock Market moves to the Coombe Fields site (off South Street), with space for 400 cattle, 500 calves, 2,000 sheep and 500 pigs.
30September1914Axminster Rural District Council (covering 15 parishes) is divided into a new Urban District Council for Axminster, and the remainder, still called the Rural District Council.
1914Work starts on the town's new sewerage system. It is completed by 1918.
1920An exceptionally cold year, with slight frosts in the Yarty valley reported throughout the Summer.
1921Axminster's first Council-sponsored housing scheme (of 22 houses) gets under way on Boxfield Road.
1921Henry Norrington Ltd purchases the iron foundry at the foot of Castle Hill from George Heal & Sons.
September1921The War Memorial is dedicated.
1922Axminster Town Football Club wins the Perry Street league for the third season running.
1922Axminster School is re-built on the same site.
November1925The organ in the Parish Church is moved from the north side of the tower to its present position.
25December1927Heavy snow and deep drifts throughout East Devon.
1928The Council completes the construction of 26 houses on North Street.
24November1928Axminster's public electricity supply is switched on.
1929Foot and mouth disease hits East Devon, and farmers meet in Axminster to express their disquiet.
1929Work starts on the construction of Cridlake (34 houses).
1931The Plaza cinema is built on West Street to show 'talkie' films. The old Regent in Market Square closed at much the same time.
1932The Council is given approval to build 24 houses at Prestor, on Sector Lane.
1934The first houses are built at Gamberlake, with over 20 completed by 1938.
1934Axminster Health Centre is established on Church Street by Dr A L Crawford. It is the first such centre to be built in England.
11936A large ballroom is opened behind the Plaza cinema.
21936Harry Dutfield moves to Axminster, and starts to build a new carpet factory near the railway station, with local investors Messrs R J Luff and S O Gill.
May1937The first carpet from Axminster Carpets Ltd is exhibited in Potter's shop, Harry Dutfield having won a bet that he could hit that target by Coronation Day (12 May).
1938Hundreds of acres of farmland are flooded, along with the new Axminster Carpets factory (to a depth of a few inches).
1938There are five cases of typhoid in Axminster, with one death.
May1939The Devon County Show is held at Axminster.
1939Axe Vale Laundry merges with White Rose Laundry, Lyme Regis, with the merged company continuing to be based in Axminster.
1939The Cedars Hotel opens in a converted house on the corner of Silver Street and Musbury Road.
21April1940A German bomb hits Market Square, killing at least one person.
1940J H Shand's engineering works moves to Axminster to reduce the chances of being affected by wartime bombing. They share floor space with Axminster Carpets.
28June1942A German incendiary bomb hits Axminster Hospital. Other buildings in the town are also damaged at around the same time.
1942There is a case of foot and mouth disease on a farm at Membury.
1943A US Military Hospital is built at Millwey Rise, with 600 beds.
December1944Some of the worst flooding in the Axe valley for many years.
1945Axminster and District Chamber of Commerce is founded. For many years the secretary was Herbert R Jeffery.
1945Axminster Rural and Urban District Councils move from Castle Hill House to Oak House, Chard Street.
10November1945Axminster is granted the right to have a coat of arms.
8July1946This is the date on the foundation stone of J H Shand's West Street factory, though parts of the building were started well before that.
January1947The worst blizzard for over 50 years hits Axminster and East Devon.
Approx1948The first civilian residents start to occupy the former US Military Hospital site, initially as 'squatters', but then by agreement with the Council.
1955Church Street is significantly widened.
1955Bidwell Brothers' brushworks closes down.
1958Millwey Rise Football Club in formed, at the Trout Inn.
1961New Masonic Hall opened on South Street.
January1963Blizzards affect Axminster. Some roads are closed to traffic for weeks, and milk has to be brought into Trinity Square by tractor for collection.
1963The former Plaza cinema is bought by public subscription, and converted into the Guildhall. The ballroom becomes J H Shand's social club.
1963New Magistrate's Court building opened on Lyme Close.
1964New Police Station opened on Lyme Close.
27September1965The branch railway line from Axminster to Lyme Regis is closed.
1970Severe summer floods cause great damage to the Yarty valley in particular. The road bridge between Axminster and Kilmington is seriously damaged.
28November1971The Old Bell closes.
1974Axminster Rural and Urban District Councils are abolished, to be replaced by East Devon District Council.
1974Axminster Town Council takes over the Guildhall.
1975Jaffe et Fils Ltd move their feather business into premises at the foot of Castle Hill.
1976Mole Avon opens a branch beside Axminster station.
February1978A blizzard affects the whole area. The Seaton-to-Sidmouth road is blocked for 5 days.
1978Edwin Dawkins & Son, arguably Axminster's best-known shop of the previous 100 years, closes.
Approx1980East Devon District Council closes its Oak House office.
31October1983Axe Vale Laundry closes, and the land (off North Street) is then used for housing.
1986Axminster Care Services, a local charity, is founded.
1987Permission is granted to build Leo's supermarket (part of the Co-op group) on West Street.
1988J H Shand's Axminster factory closes. The site is later re-developed as Shand Park.
1988The Green Dragon, at the foot of Castle Hill, finally closes.
1990Coate's remaining brush business merges with A Simpson. The business was wound up in 1994 (having closed down in Axminster many years before).
1990Work starts on the Axminster by-pass, with associated Roman-era archaeological finds.
November1991Axminster by-pass is opened to traffic.
3August1998Tesco opens a supermarket in Axminster.
12September1998The Flamingo Pool opens, adjacent to the secondary school.
1999The Shrubbery (West Street) is re-developed as 10 flats and 3 town houses after years of dereliction.
3May2001Axminster Magistrate's Court sits for the final time, ending 600 years of court hearings in Axminster.
2001A national outbreak of foot and mouth disease severely disrupts the marketing of farm animals, and closes Axminster Market for many weeks.
200345 flats at Minster Court (West Street) are built on the former site of a filling station and row of three shops.
200621 flats at Mellowes Court (off West Street) are built on the site of a former garage.
2006The site of Axminster Livestock Market is sold for re-development as housing.
25March2016Axminster Heritage Centre opens to the public.
7July2016One of the largest cannabis 'farms' ever found in SW England discovered by police at the former Axe Vale Social Club building, Chard Street.
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