Durham Cathedral is being rebuilt – in Lego

01st February 2024

Volunteers are hard at work rebuilding Durham Cathedral…. the LEGO® version – in time for the February half term holiday.

Durham Cathedral is being rebuilt … the LEGO® version.

Durham Cathedral in LEGO®, was an ambitious fundraising project from 2013 to 2016 to support ‘Open Treasure, the development of the Durham Cathedral Museum.

Since the first brick was laid on 11 July 2013, over 350,000 bricks were added to the model over the next 3 years by members of the public, with each brick representing a £1 donation.

The build has been in storage for three years and will now be housed in a new location in the Monks’ Dormitory of the Durham Cathedral Museum.

Durham Cathedral is being rebuilt in Lego

Andrew Usher, Chief Officer for Visitor Experience and Enterprise 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 also represents the many stories from the thousands of people, businesses and community groups who added their bricks.”

 The original build of Durham Cathedral in LEGO® was a popular way to raise money from the public and businesses. Large donations 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.

More than 40 volunteers sorted bricks, supported people to place their LEGO® piece and tracked where people came from so there was a record of the thousands of people from across the UK and the rest of the world who added a brick.

This latest rebuild is being led by volunteer Les West, who supported the original build and also its takedown and is now heading up a new team of volunteers to rebuild the structure in its new home.

And the cathedral has found some wonderful stories connected to the build including a couple who bought a brick for everyone in their wedding party as  a wedding favour. And they are keen to collect more stories and are asking anyone who placed a brick on the build to share their story via the Durham website.

You can share your brick story here.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Dr Philip Plyming, said:

“The construction of Durham Cathedral from 1093 was an extraordinary achievement by an amazing group of people. The construction of 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 350,000 brick model is as accurate a scale representation of the cathedral as possible, spanning 3.84m long, 1.53m wide and 1.7m high.

For more information visit www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/lego