There it is in the heart of the British countryside I of East Anglia: the largest, the most detailed and the most accurate model of Jerusalem’s Second Temple ever built.
Breathtakingly beautiful, the model is difficult to equate with its surroundings—not a museum or an institution of learning but a barn adjoining a 16th-century farmhouse on a place called Moat Farm. The cackling of ducks and geese that regard the moat as their home wafts gently over the air. The improbability of it all recedes into the background, however, as, through the model, we enter the world of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
The model is the work of 61-year-old Alec Garrard, farmer, former house builder and Methodist laypreacher; his formal education ended at 14. Garrard has been a keen modelmaker from a young age. He built a model of a dreamhouse for his wife and a model of the Mayflower, the ship in which the English Puritans sailed to America. His model of the Biblical Tabernacle has traveled extensively, mostly to churches. As a logical follow-up to the Tabernacle model, he became interested in Herod’s Temple and looked at existing models. Finding that none of them were completely accurate, he decided to build one himself.