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Watch the story of Durham Cathedral - in Lego

A County Durham filmmaker has told the history of Durham Cathedral - in Lego.

Matt Smith, 36, of Durham-based video production company Lintelfilm, was asked by Durham Cathedral to make the animated short films to help launch the cathedral's Open Treasure exhibition, which launches on Saturday July 23.

Supported by a grant of £3.9 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the new permanent exhibition will give visitors access to the cathedral’s buildings and collections as never before.

Matt's film features interviews with people such as Visit England's Tourism Superstar 2016 Lilian Groves.

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Over 7,500 wowed by Kirkleatham lego exhibition

11-year-old Ellie Green admires a Lego masterpiece with Dad Phil Green. Credit: Dave Charnley Photography

More than 7,500 people have been to the Kirkleatham Museum and Grounds to see Brick Planet.

It's a special exhibition where visitors can see world landmarks including Saltburn Pier, St Pancras Station, and the Great Pyramid of Giza - all made out of Lego.

The majority of the exhibits (apart from Saltburn Pier which was built by local Lego enthusiast Mark Willis) have been built by Warren Elsmore who has exhibited his works around the world.

(L to R) Kieran, Lucy, Jacob and Ava, pupils from John Emmerson Batty Primary school, celebrate their Lego competition success behind the recreation of St Pancras station Credit: Dave Charnley Photography

“It's great to bring together models from my first two books - Brick City and Brick Wonders - and to display them in Kirkleatham.

We had a lot of fun deciding which models to build for the two books and it's great to see them all on display.

Hopefully it might inspire some local builders to have a go themselves!"

– Warren Elsmore

When is the exhibition on until?

  • Brick Planet runs until Monday 11 July
  • Tickets costing £3.50 for adults, £1.50 for children
  • A family ticket costs £8.50 for two adults and up to three children
  • For more information on Brick Planet, click here

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LEGO cathedral project helps build language skills

Students from Teikyo University helping with the Durham Cathedral LEGO project

A group of students from Teikyo University, Japan have been volunteering at Durham Cathedral as part of a scheme to improve their English language skills.

For the last four months, Japanese undergraduate students from Teikyo University have been volunteering alongside LEGO volunteers at Durham Cathedral to help with the Durham Cathedral LEGO Build, a fundraising venture which will raise funds for the Cathedral’s Open Treasure project.

The students have experienced different aspects of the Durham Cathedral LEGO Build from sorting and selling bricks to helping members of the public place their bricks on the model itself.

"I have really enjoyed being part of the LEGO project at Durham Cathedral.

"I have met many different people and my English skills have improved greatly. I can’t wait to see the LEGO model when it is finished!"

– Yu Hannahira, Volunteer

"Thanks to the Durham Cathedral LEGO Project, our undergraduate students from Japan are not only contributing to a worthy project but they are also benefiting linguistically.

"Five students have successfully completed voluntary placements over the last 4 months and I am hopeful we can continue this from September when our new students arrive from Japan."

– Helen McAree, Deputy EFL Co-ordinator

Durham Cathedral Lego project turns one

80,000 bricks have been built in the replica so far

A charity project to build a replica of Durham Cathedral from Lego is celebrating its first birthday.

The model consists of 80,000 bricks so far, but is less than a quarter complete.

As part of the celebrations, the North East Autism Society is helping cathedral volunteers to build the Lego high altar.

Donors have to pay £1 to lay a brick, with the money raised being used to improve access to the real cathedral.

Durham Cathedral Lego project celebrates its first birthday
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