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Farmer builds model of Biblical temple

A retired farmer has spent more than 30 years building an enormous scale model of a Biblical temple.

 
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Alec Gerrard: Farmer builds temple of Biblical proportions
Alec Gerrard has spent 30 years constructing the ancient Herod's Temple Photo: GEOFF ROBINSON
Alec Gerrard's temple: Farmer builds temple of Biblical proportions
Alec Gerrard constructed the amazing 1:100 scale model, which is now housed in a huge building in his back garden Photo: GEOFF ROBINSON

Alec Garrard, 78, has dedicated a massive 33,000 hours to constructing the ancient Herod's Temple, which measures a whopping 20ft by 12ft.

The pensioner has hand-baked and painted every clay brick and tile and even sculpted 4,000 tiny human figures to populate the courtyards.

Historical experts believe the model is the best representation in the world of what the Jewish temple actually looked like and it has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the globe.

But Mr Garrard, who started the elaborate project in his 40's, says his masterpiece will not be finished in his lifetime.

"I've always loved making models and as I was getting older I started to think about making one big project which would see me through to the end of my life," he said.

"I have an interest in buildings and religion so I thought maybe I could combine the two and I came up with the idea of doing the Temple.

"I'd seen one or two examples of it in Biblical exhibitions, but I thought they were rubbish and I knew I could do better.

"I have been working on it for decades but it will never be finished as I'm always finding something new to add."

Mr Garrard, from Norfolk, spent more than three years researching the Temple, which was destroyed by the Romans 2000 years ago and deemed to be one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient times.

He then started to construct the amazing 1:100 scale model, which is now housed in a huge building in his back garden.

"Everything is made by hand. I cut plywood frames for the walls and buildings and all the clay bricks and tiles were baked in the oven then stuck together," he said.

Mr Garrard sculpted and painted 4,000 figures, measuring just half an inch and all wearing their correct costumes including 32 versions of Jesus.

Visitors come from all over the world to see the model and Mr Garrard provides binoculars so they can see all the details.

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Model of biblical proportions

Retired farmer Alec Garrard has spent 30 years recreating Herod's Temple

Retired farmer Alec Garrard has spent 30 years recreating Herod's Temple.

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