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New Exhibition at the Hornby Visitor Centre

From Thursday 4th August 2011 at the Hornby Visitor Centre


A fascinating collection of models of British cathedrals, constructed by the mysterious model maker and architect William Gorringe, will go on display at the Hornby Visitor Centre in Margate later this summer.

Cathedral Models at the Hornby Visitor Centre - Photograph

The elegantly crafted models, which are made of wood and card, vividly recreate the cathedrals at a scale of 60 feet to one inch and were intended to be used as a comparative tool for students of architecture.

The collection was given to Canterbury Cathedral in 1916 by Edward Murray Oakeley and exhibited in the Crypt.  But it was Oakeley’s Royal composer and organist brother Sir Herbert (1830-1903), who, by encouraging and supporting his friend William Gorringe, an architectural modeller patronised by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, created the collection.

Hornby has a worldwide business in the field of model-making and hobby-based activities. The Company has been based in East Kent for over 50 years and today has a broad portfolio of hobby brands both in the UK and internationally.

We were first approached by the Canterbury Gift in summer 2010 with a view to Hornby supporting the fundraising activities of the Canterbury Gift in the restoration and ongoing maintenance of Canterbury Cathedral.  During our early discussions it emerged that for over 100 years Canterbury Cathedral has been home to a unique collection of Cathedral Models.  We immediately felt that these exquisite models deserved to be put on public display.  Hornby is therefore delighted to have been able to support the restoration and refurbishment of the Collection in order to make it suitable for display in the prestigious Sir John Soane’s Museum, in Lincolns Inn Fields, London.

Following the Soane’s Museum exhibition, we are delighted that the Collection will move to the Hornby Visitor Centre, Margate, for a period of time. The Hornby Visitor Centre already receives a large number of visitors both from the UK and abroad. We are creating a specially designed environment which we feel will display the Cathedral Collection to its magnificent best, within an easy striking distance of its Canterbury home.

Hornby Visitor Centre Admission

  • Adults - £4
  • Senior Citizens - £2
  • Children (ages 5-15) - £2
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults and up to 4 children) - £10

Cathedral Exhibition Admission

  • Adults - £2
  • Senior Citizens - £1
  • Children (ages 5-15) - £1
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults and up to 4 children) - £5

Combined Ticket - Hornby Visitor Centre and Cathedrals Exhibition

  • Adults - £5
  • Senior Citizens - £2.50
  • Children (ages 5-15) - £2.50
  • Family Tickets (2 Adults and up to 4 children) - £12

The Catherdrals Models exhibiton will open on 4th August 2011.

Click here for more information about the Hornby Visitor Centre.

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