Bekonscot is the oldest original model village in the world. It portrays aspects of England mostly dating from the 1930s.
The creators developed the model landscape portraying rural England at the time. The swimming pool became the first "sea" and the undulating rockeries were built up as hills. Bassett-Lowke, the well-known large-scale model railway manufacturers, were commissioned to build an extensive Gauge 1 railway network, which exists to this day. Callingham named the village 'Bekonscot' after Beaconsfield and Ascot where he previously lived.
It was not conceived as a commercial visitor attraction but as a plaything to entertain Roland and his guests. It was only after 1930 that its existence became widely known, catching the imagination of the press and public alike. Frequent newsreels such as Pathe, international and national newspaper coverage ensure a steady stream of visitors, all of whom were invited to make a donation to the Railway Benevolent Institution.
The site is approximately two acres of which just over half is a miniature 1:12 landscape. Buildings are constructed in natural materials, concrete, or dense foam-board; many are originals from the 1920s.
There are six model villages set within the miniature landscape. These are entirely fictional towns, but many buildings within them are based on UK prototypes. Successive generations of modelmakers, gardeners and craftsmen have left their mark on their subjects, which display a wide range of vernacular architectural styles.