Tourist Information in Exeter and East Devon
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Axminster Town Information

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A lovely old market town surrounded by stunning scenery in the valley of the River Axe, Axminster’s name is now a byword for high quality carpets.

The weaver Thomas Whitty made hand-knotted carpets for wealthy clients, initially employing his own daughters to do the work, created the industry in the mid-18th century.

The industry was successfully revived, in a less exclusive form, in the 1930s.

Axminster Photo © William Bartlett
Axminster - Photo: William Bartlett CCL

Axminster Church Photo © Malcolm Etherington
Axminster Church - Photo: Malcolm Etherington CCL

  The oldest building here is the 13th century Church of St Mary the Virgin.

It boasts gargoyles, a Tudor porch, an effigy dated to the 12th century and, of course, a magnificent Axminster carpet.

Equally, the local museum has a section devoted to local carpet making as well as the town’s Saxon origins.
Nearby Forde Abbey dates to the early 12th century and was an important Cistercian monastery.  

Forde Abbey Photo © Chris Downer
Forde Abbey - Photo: Chris Downer CCL