Setting the scene for the tour

Cowleaze Farm
Rural England in a time of change

The late 1920s and early 1930s were a period of great change in England which touched rural locations as much as urban areas. Changes in transport were an important 'driver' of this change and made it easier for minerals, building materials, people and manufactured goods including food products, to be moved. Along with reductions in Government support for agriculture and other social changes with origins in the First World War and its aftermath, these changes were starting to have a visible impact on the Vale of White Horse. It was these visible changes that the founder of Pendon, Roye England, set out to record. His aim was to preserve aspects of the rural scene and way of life for future generations. His chosen medium was a diorama consisting of completely accurate models of buildings and their setting, transport in all forms, and  landscape chosen to form a representation of the whole Vale. The result is this scene, widely regarded as one of the finest and largest dioramas anywhere.

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