You never know where you are going to find exhibits of dollhouses and small scale items. They exist in town halls, local historical museums, art museums, and even in garden centers. The World in Miniature Museum is housed in the Houghton Hall Garden Centre in Houghton, Carlisle in the United Kingdom. When you enter the museum the
guide provides you with a magnifying glass so you don’t miss any of the tiny details in the small items. Most of the dollhouses, room settings, and shadow boxes are in the popular 1:12 scale. Everything is handcrafted by local artisans and the detailed dollhouse furniture is replicated down to the tiny hinges, the dovetail joints and working locks. You will also find miniature paintings and bone china fit for dollhouse royal castle. The museum also claims to have the world’s smallest teddy bear.
Some of the more than 250 artisans who have created the small size masterpieces in
the museum include: Juliet Blake who designs dollhouse sized needlework items for the museum with works that are calculated to contain more than 19,600 stitches to the inch; David Edwards who has been making dollhouse furniture for many years and is known for his Scottish kitchen furniture, parlour pieces, musical instruments, and other accessories; Mark Gouch who started out making dollhouse furniture as a hobby and now does it full time; Geoffrey Herickx who specializes in dollhouse paintings and is a member of the Royal Miniature Society; Barry Hipwell creates dollhouse masterpieces in tin and is now known as one of the foremost miniaturists in the world; John Hodgson is known as the Master of Doll House makers in Great Britain and his fine dollhouse furniture is known worldwide.
The museum is open to the public and is also available for group and club visits and is a favorite of miniaturist clubs in the UK. Local schools are also frequent visitors to the museum, where kids can learn from studying the room settings and tiny furniture how people lived in the 19th century as the exhibit forms a type of social history of the region. In addition to the dollhouse settings, the museum also has a collection of model railways, tiny tapestries and art. In the building housing the museum, visitors can shop at the garden center, visit a café, and a gift shop.