More than just a museum…

Take a trip through time to learn what has made Axminster and the surrounding area what it is today. Children can enjoy their own trail with dressing up points and interactive activities.

Explore Axminster, its origins in the Bronze and Stone Ages, then as a crossroads on the Roman Fosse Way.

Learn about the abbey built at Newenham by the Cistercian monks after they were given the Manor of Axminster in  1246.

Discover how Axminster became a busy agricultural market town developing a strong rural economy over many years.

World famous Axminster carpets…

Thomas Whitty started making carpets here in 1755, whilst William Harry Dutfield established his modern factory in 1937.

See a beautiful 1769 Whitty carpet. Compare our original 18th century loom used by Whitty with a 1930s Crabtree loom used in the Axminster Carpets factory. We occasionally run the Crabtree loom which is fully working.

The town has attracted all sorts of craftsmen and women, a foundry, two brush factories, both famous for their toothbrushes. A series of precision engineering companies have flourished and examples of some of their innovative products are on display.

Learn how individuals like Thomas Whitty and William Buckland put Axminster on the map. Others like James Davidson and George Pulman recorded Axminster’s history, and Emily Conybeare helped the sick of the town.

All this is housed in a factory built by the Whitty family, which subsequently served the town as a court-house and a hospital.

At the rear is the Dye House and garden with plants that would have been used for dying the wool in Thomas Whitty’s day.

Axminster Heritage – Our Vision

“Our vision at Axminster Heritage is to delight and entertain visitors through interactive and innovative displays. We hope to exceed expectations by creating both an online and a ‘hands on’ experience that young and old can touch and interact with. In addition, we have a unique collection of original Axminster carpets artefacts and aim to tell the story, from fleece to floor, of this world famous ‘brand’ name in an enjoyable and educational way.”

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