Visit the Wizard’s Attic, home to a friendly wizard who repairs old broken toys with the help of his team of mice.
A treasure trove of toys through history, the wizard has playthings from as early as the 1740s together with more recent must have cult toys.
Some of his toys are brand new and others much loved, family friends. Some are centuries old, such as dolls from the 1600s, and early clockwork toys from Germany. Others, such as Barbie and Star Wars characters, will be familiar to children today.
Tucked away in the attic is a room which has been magically divided into a half-1890s / half-2000s child’s bedroom featuring toys from both eras. The gallery features model trains, toy soldiers, teddy bears, dolls, mechanical toys and educational toys.
A highlight of the gallery is the doll collection with examples from the 1700s onwards, including:
- Pierotti portrait dolls of the Royal family from early 1900s
- An 18th century wax doll in its original clothing
- Bébé Jumeau dolls
- German bisque dolls from the late 19th century until the 1920s
- Dolls houses of different architectural styles and ages.
There is a good collection of clockwork toys including early British and French automata and clockwork toys from Germany, Britain, America and Japan, with examples by classic manufacturers Lehmann and Schuco.
Modern children hooked on Lego will find examples of their favourites, which they can compare with Meccano and a fine selection of 19th century German constructional toys.
There are Victorian toys for teaching children their ABC, counting, geography, botany and skills.
Collectors will be entranced by the toy and model trains including a rare German push-along train dating from 1845, early steam trains and Hornby classics, and highly prized Teddies from the early 1900s including some rare Steiff bears.