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Bourton-on-the-Water’s Model Village celebrates its 80th birthday!

PUBLISHED: 15:36 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 04 September 2017

The Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water

The Model Village in Bourton-on-the-Water

© Thousand Word Media

For 80 years now, Bourton-on-the-Water has been one of the country’s finest locations in which to catch sight of Gulliver-esque giants. Join us as we get on hands and knees to take a peek into the homes of Cotswolds’ own Lilliput...

First there’s vision:

Eighty years ago, ‘Bo’ Morris, landlord of the Old New Inn at Bourton-on-the-Water, could spot an opportunity when he saw one. And he’d spotted one. This new-fangled trend for motoring out on a Sunday afternoon pointed to a lucrative boom in tourism...

And then there’s double-vision:

So Bo decided to create his own attraction for these tourists to visit: a perfect replica of his beautiful Cotswold village of Bourton. He commissioned from local builders and craftsmen a one ninth-scale model – perfect in detail down to the pews and kneelers in the churches, and the miniature Cotswold tiles on the roofs.

Julian Atherton, owner of The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water Julian Atherton, owner of The Model Village, Bourton-on-the-Water

Today’s owners, Julian and Vicki Atherton, keep the model village – Grade II listed by an admiring English Heritage in 2013 – in tip-top condition. They not only paint the woodwork and ‘mow’ the lawns; they even update the signs when the shops change hands.

In 1938 a documentary was made about the building of Bourton’s model village, called ‘Lilliput Village’. The film shows scenes of the picturesque village, while men measure doorways and make notes, before starting work on the ninth-scale buildings. You can watch the video here.

For more information visit The Model Village website.

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