The Miniature Model Houses – Open
Discover the fabulous Miniature Model Houses, which can be accessed via the Hever Shop. This unique collection of 1/12 scale model houses, was commissioned by the current owners of Hever Castle, from the master English miniaturist furniture maker, John J. Hodgson.
The models are set in a permanent display and each house was designed to faithfully reflect architectural features and every aspect of the period. The models are set within a permanent 12th scale exhibition to illustrate the development of English country houses through the ages, from Tudor to Victorian times.
We thank you for wearing a mask in this indoor space.
We recommend that you allow half an hour to explore the Miniature Model Houses. Final entry to this area is an hour before the grounds close, and final exit is half an hour before they close. View our opening times.
The Medieval House
The great hall is based on the one at Penshurst Place has beams and rafters from 17th century oak. There are over 2000 handmade floor tiles, wonderful stained glass windows, and handmade tapestry with over 42,000 stitches. The carpet is inspired by a 16th century carpet now in the V&A museum and there are three open fires in the kitchen.
I was as excited as a child when I walked into the first room and saw the breathtaking displays laid out in front of me......
I was as excited as a child when I walked into the first room and saw the breathtaking displays laid out in front of me. Nothing I can write, and no photograph I have taken, can depict the wonder of this totally perfect exhibition. I can only give you a taste of what to expect.
Sandra Harding, Dolls House World Magazine
The Stuart House
This is based on Burton Agnes Hall in Yorkshire, and occupied by a Stuart family in about 1640. In the garden the roses are real miniature dried rose heads, and the other flowers are made of brass and hand painted. In the parlour an elderly lady sits at her spinning wheel, using Leicester long haired sheep wool. The gentlemen at the other side of the house are playing shovelboard, the predecessor of shove halfpenny.
The Restoration Drawing Room
This room shows the decorative nature of panelling, ceilings and furniture which developed during the “Restoration” of the monarchy from 1660. The fireplace depicts the Royal Oak of Charles II (c. 1660), and notice the general use of upholstery making furniture more comfortable. Floors were polished oak parquetry, and the furniture highlights the influence of the Huguenots in the 1680s. In the 1690s black Chinese lacquered furniture became popular, as depicted in the cabinet on display. In 1689 the accession of William and Mary introduced a more delicate, tall and elegant style of furniture, and the chairs here are copies of real chairs in the long gallery in the Castle.
The Georgian House
This classically styled house is based on Sledmere House in Yorkshire. The doors are solid mahogany, and the marble in the hall comes from Devon. In the amazing dining room, the bone china dinner service is monogrammed “G” for Guthrie, the current owners of Hever Castle, and the painting over the fireplace is a copy of the real one in the library in the Castle. In the bedroom, the bible can be read, as can the three books on the desk, and the harp in the drawing room can be played.
The Victorian House
The drawing room is decorated in Gothic revival of which the windows, doorways, ceiling mouldings and over mantel are all classic examples. The wallpaper “bower”, is William Morris c.1877, the floors are parquet woodblock, and the carpet a copy of an Aubusson carpet. The furnishings are typically Victorian and there many more Victorian touches. Below stairs, the staff are preparing meals for the Christmas period. The nursery is a small attic room, used as a day nursery, away from their parents.