Godshill Model Village is a world within a world. If you stand in the right spot in the garden you can see the real church towering above you, the model church with the congregation singing in the aisles from within its tiny stained glass windows and then the model of the model church…and so on.
Children love to peer into the cute shops of Shanklin Old Village and follow the path beside Shanklin Chine as it tumbles to the seashore, filled with more of those fabulous bonsai trees – they’ve won awards for these. On the seashore are the beach huts, pleasure boats and people enjoying their day in the sun – the pub is even open.
All of the houses, cottages, churches and pubs exist in real life and the models are exact replicas of these actual buildings, made with sand and cement so they weather as they age. They are even thatched just like the real thing using authentic materials and methods.
This replica dates from 1952, when Mr Dam built the Shanklin part in the vicarage garden – the vicarage now houses the shop and tearoom. Bought by Robin Thwaites in the late 1960s, it is now run by his daughter Penny and her husband Stuart.
Kevin McCloud of Channel 4’s Grand Designs said, “If you really do want to indulge in a uniquely Fifties Isle of Wight experience replete with bathing huts, vintage buses and a slower pace of life, then there is only one destination for you: Godshill Model Village”.