Bekonscot Model Village
world-famous attraction, and was the first model village in the world. It covers approximately one and a half acres in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshre, and is close to the railway line from London Marylebone to Birmingham, and the M40 Motorway.
The model village began as a hobby for Roland Callingham, a London accountant, who in the mid-1920s bought a field, dug a pond in it and built a few model houses, to which a friend added a model railway. Roland Callingham lived in Beaconsfield and his friend, James Shilcock, lived in Ascot so they decided to combine the names and call the village 'Bekonscot'.
The "village" actually consists of several small towns and villages, set in a beautiful miniature 1930's English landscape, complete with lakes, rivers, farms, fields, a huge railway system, and a population of several thousand tiny residents!
The Village is surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens, containing dwarf conifers and alpine plants, some of which have been growing since the 1920's. A dedicated team of staff keep the gardens in top condition, and the beautiful lawns that run through the village (a reminder of the meadows that the village was built on) have won awards.
Each house, shop, castle and building has been designed and built on site by skilled craftsmen over the years. Whilst many are repaired and preserved to maintain the heritage of Bekonscot, each year there are always new buildings and displays.
Possibly the main attraction for many visitors is the magnificent Gauge 1 model railway which weaves its way through the landscape. A mainline plus branch, serving 7 stations with normally 10 trains at any one time, is controlled centrally by the Signalbox. Here, the signalman can alter the routes of the trains, or carry out light maintenance on them. There's a lot more about this in the "RAILWAY" section of the site.
Roland Callingham did not found Bekonscot to make money. He created it for pleasure and thus not only has pleasure been given to millions of visitors but in the process thousands of others have benefited as a result of the surplus profits given to charity over the years.