Many of those visiting our church for the first time may well begin by asking How old is it? There is no precise answer to such a question, because, like so many similar surviving old buildings, it has developed over the centuries in a somewhat piecemeal fashion, in that, from time to time, parts of the structure have been replaced with work of a later date and a different architectural style. These styles can provide a pointer to the period when alterations were made, and are thus of great value to the historian, when few documentary records are available.
So far as can be estimated, the church has existed in more or less its present form for about five hundred years, but worship has taken place here much further back than this, and it is most likely that, even before the construction of the oldest parts still surviving, one or more earlier buildings had previously stood on the site. No one can say when the Christian gospel was first proclaimed in Axmouth, but, by taking a brief glimpse at what is known of the ancient history of the district, we can perhaps hazard a guess as to the period when this might have occurred.