Rewind several decades and Snowshill was home to an immaculate model village, which is once more being reinstated in the garden.
A team of National Trust staff and volunteers are working on the ambitious project to recreate the miniature delight, which is expected to be complete by 2019.
Over the summer the model village really came to life with the return of the Wolf’s Cove train. Wolf’s Cove has now been taken in for the winter, just as Charles Wade did. Now is the time that our volunteers set to work to restore and repair the models ready for next season.
The research-led project began in 2010 and has unearthed lots of remarkable photos about the original model village, inspiration behind the 21st-century incarnation.
National Trust Archaeologist Nancy Grace said: "Snowshill's lost village, called Wolf’s Cove, is being excavated and completely reconstructed based on documents and archaeological evidence.
"Quirky and true to Snowshill’s spirit of place, Wolf’s Cove was a model village with canals, harbour and railway created and developed into the 1930s and then removed in the 1970s."
The project hit a milestone in 2014/15 with the creation of the quay.
A work in progress
Once complete, Wolf's Cove will include a fully operational railway and canal system as well as a myriad of winding streets full of houses and other tiny buildings as well as figurines. It is being installed in phases, with the pool, quayside and breakwater already in place.
The model makers make the models at home and then bring them in. Another team of staff and volunteers who then take on the responsibility for decorating the exteriors.
The wider team has been fundraising to help cover the costs of the £130,000+ project, selling raffle tickets in the house.
Snowshill's General Manager Hayley Gaisford-Gotto, who is leading the project, said: "We wouldn't have got this far without the support of our staff and volunteers - selling raffle tickets and getting behind the project. For that we are truly grateful."
A sense of delight
Hayley said there are so many interesting elements to the model village, but flagged the miniature pub as one of the many highlights.
"The charm of Wolf's Cove is that it really sums up everything that Mr Wade valued," said Hayley. "It’s made by hand, it encourages you to be playful and use your imagination and there was so much attention to detail in the original, that it just brought the village to life."
She added: “You can see from archive photographs that Mr Wade really delighted in putting together the village and we hope that by reinstating it, not only might we be able to bring that sense of delight to our visitors, but we will have restored a key part of Mr. Wade’s legacy to its rightful place."