Bourton Model Village has always been famous for it's miniature bonsai type trees, which are carefully pruned to keep them to scale. We were fortunate enough to have help from Mr. John Constable (Author of Landscapes in Miniature) and the village now features a large range of both deciduous and evergreen miniature trees.
Over recent years we have re-designed our miniature gardens; instead of filling them with oversized bedding plants which is a feature of other Model Villages, they have been planted with Alpines, and in the Summer months actually contain greenhouses and miniature garden furniture.
You can now take a peek around Bourton's iconic model village before visiting in person, with a virtual tour.
Click here to navigate around part of the model village in Google Street View..
As a replica of Bourton the Model Village is of particular interest to historians and crafts people, we do not have trains, boats or planes, as it is a replica of the buildings that were in existence in the 1930's, and demonstrates how they are used today as shops, the bank, the Victoria Hall etc.
Both of our beautiful churches are reproduced in the Village.. stand close to each Church and you will hear the choir singing. The village also includes a running River Windrush, the stone bridges for which Bourton is famous, and of course the model of the Model Village itself sitting behind the Old New Inn.
Ed Vaizey said: “This may be a highly unusual listing but it is no less worthy of its Grade II listed status. The craftsmanship involved in creating what is a hugely loved family attraction is second to none and I’m delighted that in listing we have preserved the work of the local people who built the model village and protected its history for future generations.”
In 2014, seven historic English cottages, representing the lifetime’s achievement of a craftsman whose skills found international fame, have been given a new home in The Model Village. The cottages, exquisitely detailed and in precise proportion, were painstakingly made by miniature specialist John Constable from Langport in Somerset, using traditional materials and methods. They include a perfect replica of Willy Lott’s Cottage depicted in the famous painting The Hay Wain by the craftsman’s namesake, the ‘other’ John Constable.
Each cottage took at least 12 months to build. Thousands of miniature bricks and stones, tiny rafters, windows and doors for the seven buildings were crafted individually by Mr Constable, using special tools he made himself. The seven cottages have been placed in their own unique garden settings for display in an area of the Model Village, using miniature landscaping skills learned from Mr Constable’s expert books about the subject.
The continuing loss of so many cottages which represented traditional rural life led John Constable to preserve a record of these old homes as an expression of a lost way of life.
"I’m overjoyed that Julian and Vicki Atherton at The Model Village have agreed to preserve them – and hopefully my little cottages will bring pleasure to the thousands of visitors who flock to the Model Village each year."
Also at the Model Village - a unique exhibition of highly detailed miniature scenes and room sets. These include several moving miniatures. Over 100 of England's leading miniaturist craftsmen and women were involved in the creation of this exhibition. This can only be accessed from within the Model Village, it is undercover and entry is just £1 extra.