The Seventeenth century had its troubles too: the English Civil War and Monmouth' s Rebellion left their mark; the Minster tower was damaged, Axminster people were brutalized: but citizens who had sided with Monmouth were later executed here and near Weston Zoyland in Somerset. The mixture of politics and religion gave rise to the Congregational Church now the United Reformed Church in Chard Road, and Baptists who founded a congregation whose successors meet now at Kilmington. The royal coat of arms (Georgian - mid 18th Century) on the south wall was (at the time) a powerful statement to republicans and Presbyterians.

The thirteenth century Tower is the oldest part of the Church and housed mediaeval bells. These were re-cast over the years, and since 1896 there have been eight heavy, well tuned and voiced bells ... a bell now used as calling bell originally one of six was in 1647 the cause of the death of its ringer, John Brocas. In the eighteenth century and the beginning of a carpet industry in Axminster bells were rung on completion of a carpet at the factory opposite the Parish Church. Today the ringing chamber is uniquely decorated with inscriptions of each bell, the result of a Ringers' Millennium project. Major reconstruction and repair in 2005/6 of the tower and the ringing chamber preceded the casting at Whitechapel and installation of two new bells commemorating Thomas Whitty and Harry Dutfield who made Axminster Carpets famous. There are now ten bells.

The Church is plain and largely unadorned, and bears the scars of time and damage. Much has been done to renew the windows and internal plaster , and to re-point the stone to prevent water penetration .. there is still a long way  to go!

Inside however there are some gems: the FONT has a beautiful hand carved cover depicting the baptism by John of Jesus; the handmade KNEELERS are varied and interesting; the CHANDELIER made in 1750 at Bristol was given by Richard Haycroft and Matthew Liddon the two Churchwardens of the time, THE WINDOWS in the east, west and south are largely good examples of Victorian work; the north windows have three modern designs showing John the Baptist (near the font), the Blessed Virgin Mary (right of the porch door) and the Millennium Window by the organ conceived by an Axe Valley Community College Student. Being Axminster, we have the world-famous AXMINSTER CARPET . Near the Millennium Window there is a framed carpet from Thomas 'Whitty's eighteenth-nineteenth century factory and opposite on the Tower Wall, a student-designed carpet woven specially for the Millennium using the latest computer technology.

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 Ringing chamber floor before and afterwards

Thomas Whitty Carpet and Millennium carpets

Picture of dodgy plaster !

Font Cover


East, West and South windows

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