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Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral Lego pic.jpg
Durham Cathedral
World News

LEGO replica of Durham Cathedral to go on permanent display

by Donna Birrell

A full scale LEGO replica of Durham Cathedral is coming out of storage.

The replica took more than 40 volunteers three years to build, with work starting in 2013. It was put away at the beginning of the pandemic but now it’s going on permanent display inside the Cathedral. The structure will be housed in a new location in the Monks' Dormitory of the Durham Cathedral Museum.

The Cathedral's Visitor and Enterprise Director, Andrew Usher told Premier why it’s coming out of storage now:

“Our intention always was to bring it back out, but it was boxed up in pieces during the pandemic.

“It was a case of finding the right location for it and we wanted to get a new stand. Thankfully we’ve now got the funding for that and it’s being rebuilt at the moment.“

The model was built by members of the public, with each brick representing a £1 donation and since the first brick was laid in July 2013, over 350,000 bricks were added to the model over the next 3 years.

Andrew Usher said:

“Durham Cathedral in LEGO has a special place in people’s hearts. Not only does it represent the first large-scale LEGO model to be built by members of the public, but it also represents the many stories from the thousands of people, businesses and community groups who added their bricks.”

Large donations from individuals enabled the team to build the Neville Screen, High Altar, Prior Castell’s Clock and the North Door and local companies came forward to sponsor the build of something linked to their area of work, such as the Cathedral’s Organ which was bought and built by Durham organ builders Harrison and Harrison.

Andrew Usher added:

“Looking back at the original build, we’ve found some wonderful stories of how people came to lay a brick, including a couple who got married at the cathedral and bought a brick for everyone in their wedding party to place as a wedding favour. We discovered that the bricks for the Font were bought by a man named Mr Font and there’s so many other quirky tales to tell. We’re keen to collect and share more of these stories so if there is anyone out there who placed a brick and wants to share their memory, they can do so via our website.”

Very Rev Dr Philip Plyming, Dean of Durham said:

“The construction of Durham Cathedral from 1093 was an extraordinary achievement by an amazing group of people. Durham Cathedral in LEGO reflects this story, with many people coming together and creating an inspiring model for us all to enjoy. Just as we thank God for those who built this Cathedral for the glory of God 900 years ago, we thank God for each person who has laid a LEGO brick and played a part in the Cathedral's story today.”

The model is as accurate a scale representation of the cathedral as possible, spanning 3.84m long, 1.53m wide and 1.7m high.

You can visit the Durham Cathedral in LEGO for free and see the rebuild taking place over the next few weeks before it is fully restored in February.

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