AXMINSTER, a market-town in the Honiton parliamentary division of Devonshire, England, on the river Axe, 27 m.
Axminster was long celebrated for the admirable quality of its carpets, which were woven by hand, like tapestry.
Their name is preserved, but since the seat of this industry was removed to Wilton near Salisbury, the inhabitants of Axminster have found employment in brush factories, corn mills, timber yards and an iron foundry.
Axminster (Axemystre) derives its name from the river Axe and from the old abbey church or minster said to have been built by King lEthelstan.
The situation of Axminster at the intersection of the two great ancient roads, Iknield Street and the Fosse Way, and also the numerous earthworks and hill-fortresses in the neighbourhood indicate a very early settlement.
There is a tradition that the battle of Brunanburh was fought in the valley of the Axe, and that the bodies of the Danish princes who perished in action were buried in Axminster church.
According to Domesday, Axminster was held by the king.
In 1246 Reginald de Mohun, then lord of the manor, founded a Cistercian abbey at Newenham within the parish of Axminster, granting it a Saturday market and a fair on Midsummer day, and the next year made over to the monks from Beaulieu the manor and hundred of Axminster.
See Victoria County History - Devon; James Davidson, British and Roman Remains in the Vicinity of Axminster (London, 1 &33).
Monmouth soon collected an undisciplined body of some 1500 men, with whom he seized Axminster, and entered Taunton.
Axminster, Minster; -mouth, e.g.