infobox UK place
country = England
latitude = 50.7812
longitude = -3.0001
official_name = Axminster
population = 6,000
region = South West England
post_town = AXMINSTER
postcode_area = EX
dial_code = 01297
constituency_westminster= East Devon
static_image_caption= Arms of Axminster Town Council
Axminster is a small market town on the eastern border of
Devon, England. The town is built on a hill overlooking the River Axe which heads towards the English Channelat Axmouth, and is in the East Devonlocal government district. The marketis still held every Thursday.
Axminster gave its name to a type of carpet. An Axminster-type power loom is capable of weaving high quality carpets with many varying colours and patterns. While Axminster carpet is made in the town of Axminster, this type of carpet is now manufactured all over the world.
The town dates back to the Celtic times of around 300 BC. It lies on two major Roman roads: the
Fosse Wayfrom Lincoln to Seaton, and the Dorchester– Exeterroad. There was a Roman fort on the crossroads at Woodbury Farm, just south of the present town.
Axminster was recorded in the late 9th century as "Ascanmynster" and in the
Domesday Bookof 1086 as "Aixeministra". The name means "monastery or large church by the River Axe" and is a mixture of languages; the river name "Axe" has Celtic origins and "mynster" is an Old Englishword.
The history of the town is very much linked to the carpet industry, started by
Thomas Whittyat Court House near the church in 1755. The completion of the early hand tufted carpets was marked by a peal of bells from the parish church as it took a great amount of time and labour to complete them.
Axminster Railway Station was opened on
19 July 1860, with the London and South Western Railway(LSWR) offering direct services between Queen Street Station in Exeterand Yeovil. The station building was designed by the LSWR's architectSir William Tite in mock gothic style. In 1903, the branch line from Axminster to Lyme Regiswas opened. This branch line was closed with the Beeching cuts, in the 1960s. The engine has been preserved on the Bluebell Line, in Sussex, while the station was dismantled and reconstructed at New Alresford, on the Watercress Line, in Hampshire.
Axminster is the southern starting point of the
Taunton Stop Line, a World War IIdefensive line consisting of pillboxes and anti-tank obstacles, which runs north to the Somersetcoast near Highbridge.
Nearby Kilmington was used as a location for the 1998
LWTadaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles. The celebrity chef and TV presenter Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstallhas his River Cottage H.Q.at a 60 acre farm in the Axe valley. He has since purchased an old inn of the town to convert to an organic produce shop/market and canteen.
Leisure facilities and shops
The town has Cloakham Lawns, the Axe Valley Sports Centre and Flamingo Swimming Pool, a library, several churches and a museum of local history. Shops include two supermarkets, a small
department storeand several independent retailers including the world famous [http://www.axminster.co.uk Axminster Power Tool Centre.]
Axminster is located at coord|50|47|00|N|03|00|00|W| (50.7833, -3.0000)1.
The parish church is located at
Ordnance Surveymapping six-figure grid reference SY 296985.
Devon villages within convert|5|mi|km of Axminster include;
Chardstock, Colyford, Combpyne, Dalwood, Hawkchurch, Kilmington, Membury, Musbury, Raymond's Hill, Rousdon, Shute, Smallridge, Tytherleigh, Uplymeand Whitford.
Axe Valley Community College
* Axminster Community Primary School
* St. Mary's Primary School
* All Saints Community Primary School
Axminster railway stationis on the West of England Main Linethat runs from Exetervia Salisbury to London Waterloo.
Steve Benbow—Folk musician
William Buckland—Geologist and palaeontologist
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall—Celebrity chef
Alan Jones-Famous Scots Vocalist
Taunton Stop Line
* Mee, A. "The King's England:Devon" (Hodder and Stoughton, 1965); p. 25–26.
* Mills, A. D. "Dictionary of English Place-Names". Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-280074-4.
* [http://www.axminstertown.org AxminsterTown.org - The pro-enterprise, business & community website]
* [http://www.midweekherald.co.uk Axe Valley Midweek Herald - local newspaper]
* [http://dmoz.org/Regional/Europe/United_Kingdom/England/Devon/Axminster/ Axminster (DMOZ.org)]
* [http://www.axminsterparishchurch.org.uk/ Axminster Parish Church]
* [http://www.semgonline.com/location/axmin.html Southern E-group: Axminster Station]
* [http://www.adc-online.net/ Axminster Drama Club]
* [http://www.axminster-today.co.uk/today/ Axminster Today]
* [http://www.axminster.co.uk Axminster Power Tool Centre]
* [http://www.axevalefestival.org.uk Axe Vale Festival - an annual show held in June, which raises fund for local charities]
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