Trinity House

Regenerating the very heart of Axminster

The resurrection of Axminster's landmark Trinity House store over recent months has been nothing short of startling.

Trinity House 2020
Image: Axminster Property
Trinity House Archive

Trinity House

For so many years at the heart of the town and a key economic driver through the footfall it has generated, the building hit an all-time low in 2019 when Goulds of Dorchester announced the planned closure of its department store due to falling sales. The future for the building and for the wider town centre looked decidedly bleak.

Ian Styles
Ian Styles | Axminster Property Co

Passion for Axminster

But then in stepped a man who has lived in Axminster all his life and has a deep passion for the town. Buying such a property had not been in Ian Styles’ plans for his company, Axminster Property.

“Taking on Trinity House wasn’t something I needed to do within our wider portfolio but I had to because I love the place and because Axminster is my home,” he says. “Leaving it to languish was not an option for me.”

Trinity House


The transformation in just a few months has been dramatic, with Ian very much hands-on in the midst of a small construction team that has already gone a long way not just to repairing but to bringing Trinity House back to its former glory. By June 2020, Louise Wall had become the first tenant with her rebranded Lou La Belle fashion and homewares store, relocating from Victoria Place where it traded as Label For Less. She is delighted by its early success.

The sheer quality of her unit quickly impressed others, and in October Sarah Hobbit Webb moved her  Crafty Hobbit crafts and gifts shop into the second unit. Even bigger news has been the fact that the Axminster phenomenon known at the Waffle Community House is to occupy the whole of the first floor with its mix of Belgian waffles, coffee and crusading social work to tackle isolation, exclusion, and cross-community interaction.

In total, Ian has let or pre-let seven of the eight units that will over time be created at Trinity House.

“I see this as a new start not just for Trinity House but for Axminster as a whole and that the mix of smaller local shops and community activities will be an important driver,” 

“I firmly believe the town will now pick up again and move on as a great place to shop because it really does have a lot going for it in all sorts of ways."

Ian Styles | Axminster Property Co