Our History

Wimborne Model  Town was conceived on the back of the post war tourism boom by local businessman Charles Coffen after a visit to Bourton on the Water Model Village in the late 1940s.

Following a detailed survey of Wimborne's town centre architecture, building commenced on a 1/3 acre site at West Row behind the Cornmarket. The new attraction opened to paying visitors in August 1952  and was completed around 1956.  The attraction was very successful for two decades until a change of ownership and change of holiday destinations by the public brought about decline in the late 1970s and finally closure in 1983.

The site was sold for development and the miniature buildings languished until a new charity was set up and a new green field site found in King Street.  The same structures were rebuilt with a volunteer force and the  site developed from 1988 to 1991 when Wimborne Model Town reopened  - run by volunteers.  It continues to do so as we welcome new generations of visitors from across Britain and the world. 

You can find a more detailed account of our history and attractions in the Silver Souvenir Guide available from the Model Town shop.