Well, actually more than a doll’s house – a museum display of scenes of an Edwardian country estate in 1/12th scale.
It’s a bit twee for me to be honest, but I’m a sucker for models and miniature dioramas, and some of these scenes are astonishingly detailed and lifelike!
The museum is in one of the courtyard buildings at the 200-acre Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens country estate outside Horsham, Sussex. The displays are in continuous glass cabinets around the outside of a large room, and in the middle is the main doll’s house.
The display’s were created by Helen Holland in 1998, when she started with a miniature greenhouse & vegetable garden… and it grew from there. I think vegetables are her forte, the tiny veggies in the main house pantry look edible… but then, so do the tarts in the kitchen!
Leonardslee is undergoing a major refurbishment at the moment (including the doll’s house) and is closed to the public. The estate used to attract some 50,000 visitors a year until it closed in 2010 as a result of financial difficulties. It was a favourite destination for families drawn by the ‘finest woodland gardens’ in England and other attractions such as some captive wallabies and the Doll’s house exhibition. It is planned to reopen in January 2019.
Declaration – I was there as a guest of Leonardslee.