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Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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

Alec Gerrard has spent 30 years constructing the ancient Herod’s Temple

Photo: GEOFF ROBINSON

In Pictures: Model of Herod’s Temple

All Pictures by: Geoff Robinson Photography

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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Now, here’s a model of biblical proportions. A retired farmer has spent more than 30 years building an enormous scale model of Herod’s temple – and it is still not finished

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Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

Alec Garrard, 78, has dedicated a massive 33,000 hours to constructing the ancient temple, which measures a whopping 20ft by 12ft

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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

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Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

“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”

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical 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”

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

“I have also sculpted and painted 4,000 figures, measuring just half an inch and all wearing their correct costumes”

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Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

“Each one takes about three hours to make and there are 32 versions of Jesus, although no one can ever spot him no matter how religious they are”

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

“I personally know all the top archaeologists from Jerusalem and I’ve had experts from the British Museum visit,” he says

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

But he chases the money-changers out of the temple: “I’ve had a lot of offers from people to buy it, but it’s not for sale”

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

He says his wife Kathleen thinks he is mad

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

He adds: “She wishes she’d married a normal person”

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

Mr Garrard, from Norfolk , spent more than three years researching the temple, which was destroyed by the Romans 2,000 years ago and deemed to be one of the most remarkable buildings of ancient times

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

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

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

“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 says

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

Built in 19BC by King Herod the Great, the temple was flattened in AD70, just six years after completion

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

In its heyday the temple complex covered 36 acres – four times the area of Windsor Castle

Farmer Builds Model of Biblical Temple

The Temple was probably located on the site of what today is the Dome of the Rock.



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