Posted by: travelrat | May 16, 2021

Miniature Villages

I’m not sure what set of this train of thought, but I was recently harking back to the Cotswold village of Bourton on the Water. This village is noted for two things; the exotic Birdland and its Miniature Village. This attraction is laid out in the garden of the Old New Inn, and is a replica of the village to a one-ninth scale. This model contains, of course, a miniature Old New Inn, with a miniature miniature village in its garden ,,, and that, no doubt, contains a miniature miniature inn with a miniature miniature miniature model in its garden. And so on … ad inf … until, presumably, it disappears into a ‘black hole’, or something, from which coign of vantage it can throw … oops, sorry! Wrong joke!

That’s, of course, by no means the only miniature village there is. What is claimed to be the ‘oldest original’ one is Bekonscot, near Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire. This was laid out in the late 1920s/early 1930s, and it has preserved the atmosphere of those times beautifully. No ‘development’ here; Bekonscot remains untouched by ‘progress’. Although it’s not an exact replica of anywhere, it does have a faithful model of the house of children’s author Enid Blyton, who lived near here and was a frequent visitor. And, of course, the trains … the whole thing was built around an extensive model railway layout.

Bekonscot

Another snapshot of times gone by can be found in Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne. There, you can see the miniature Tudor village, presented by the borough of Lambeth, in London, to acknowledge the gifts of food from the state of Victoria during and immediately after World War II. Well, it’s rather more like we imagine a Tudor village used to be, but very pleasant, anyway. I half-expected to see a miniature Father Brown or Miss Marple scurrying around, trying to solve the latest murder.

Miniature Village, Fitzroy Gardens

The grand-daddy of them all (arguably!!) can be found in the Netherlands, at Madurodam. This was constructed after WWII, to honour George Maduro, a Dutch Army officer and resistance fighter, who died in Dacha concentration camp. Here is everything! Palaces, houses, trains, cars, docks, canals … and, of course windmills. Truly, if you don’t have time to see all of the Netherlands, you can probably see it all, in miniature, here!

Madurodam

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