Axminster Museum was once the local police station and courthouse and you’ll find it right in the heart of the town. It’s one of those buildings that’s almost as fascinating as the artefacts inside it, and visitors can still peer inside the old police cells which now form part of the café next door! Most of the collection is found in the former courtroom upstairs from the station and one of its highlights is a model of local landmark Weycroft Mill.
Other collections include one dedicated to Axminster carpets and the town’s long association with the agricultural industry. Local artefacts tell the tale of how the town endured two world wars, and the museum houses some of the few remaining artefacts from Newenham Abbey which stood in the town until the dissolution of the monasteries.
Entry to the museum is free and it’s open between May and September (apart from Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays). A visit makes a nice start to a stay in the area as it tells the tale of the town from the beginning, although please note that due to the building’s age there is limited access for wheelchairs and pushchairs.