One of England’s largest and most intricate model towns, the Wimborne Minster Model Town is a near perfect replica of the area as it existed during the piquant 1950’s although this micro-memory was almost forgotten thanks to vandals and neglect.
The tiny town was originally built in the 1950’s when a group of local gentlemen photographed a number of the buildings in the center of town and began recreating them in 1/10th scale within a walled area nearby. When the builders were finished (or simply ran out of room on their chosen plot) the model town featured 120 buildings including shops and a massive 15-foot version of the town’s titular minster. Tiny citizens were added as well as period automobiles and popular goods of the time hanging in the shop windows. The impressive level of detail makes many of the structures almost indistinguishable from the real buildings in photographs.
The intention of the impressive miniature downtown was to create tourist interest in the town and the plan was successful as visitors flocked from all over to view the little town. Unfortunately interest in the site eventually waned it was all but abandoned as vandals and the elements began to scar and mark the defenseless little structures. However the full-size Wimborne Minster rallied to the tiny town’s rescue and had the whole thing moved to its current location where it was restored and expanded to include more family friendly attractions.
Today the miniature people and their miniature lives continue to live on in as the tiny town ages realistically next to the real thing. The site is currently maintained by full-size volunteers.
Visit England with Atlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.