Model village in the Cotwolds gets listed status

model village

Bourton-on-the-Water is a beautiful Cotswold village, created from local stone, and boasting a number of listed buildings - some of which are three hundred years old. However, it's not this village which has received listed status - it's the model replica of the village - built in 1936.

So why has it been Grade II Listed, and what will it mean for the village?
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Why?

English Heritage recognised the craftsmanship in the exact replica of the town - built out of local stone by builders rather than model makers - on the scale of one ninth. The eight builders took five years to create the village - thought to be the second oldest model village in Britain.

The boom in motoring in the 1930s saw more tourism in England. Mr and Mrs Morris, the couple behind the model village, wanted to create something to attract tourists to their pub, the Old New Inn, which is now also Grade II listed.

The pub belonged to the Morris family until 1999. They - and the subsequent owners - have updated things like shop signs and windows to reflect changes to the village itself.

Deborah Williams, Head of Designation for the West, at English Heritage, said "Its value is greatly added to by the number of listed buildings the model village records and the fact it is set within the grounds of a Grade II listed pub."

What does it mean?

The listing will help preserve the village. Heritage Minister 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."

It may also attract more visitors. Model villages are already big business. Since this one was first opened in 1937, to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI, it has become one of the most popular places to visit in the Cotswolds. The first model village in the UK, Bekonscot, has seen over 14 million visitors since it opened to the public in 1929.

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