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The Last Leg(o)! Durham Cathedral’s genius fundraising approach for their Open Treasure exhibition

August 4, 2016 Published by Beth Thomas

Last week saw the final brick added to Durham Cathedral in LEGO, marking the end of a successful three-year fundraising campaign.

Pearl Richardson (7) from Newcastle-upon-Tyne was the lucky brick-layer, having won a competition organised by the Cathedral which gave people the opportunity to  be in with a chance of laying the final brick.

Pearl has been a frequent visitor to the Cathedral over the last few years, with her twin brother Murray, because their dad Scott is a stonemason with the Cathedral’s Works Yard Team.

Mum Anne said: “Both children have placed several bricks on the model before and wanted to enter the prize draw to be in with the chance of winning the luck last brick placer’s role.  We were delighted when we heard that Pearl’s name had been drawn out and it is particularly lovely because her daddy has put his mark in history in stone on the Cathedral tower works and now Pearl has placed her own mark in history on the LEGO model.”

Durham Cathedral in LEGO began on 11 July 2013 to raise funds for Open Treasure, the Cathedral’s new state-of-the-art exhibition experience which opened  in July, and was mentioned in our previous blog.

For the last three years, visitors to Durham Cathedral have been adding bricks at a cost of £1 each to Durham Cathedral in LEGO, generating an incredible £300,000 towards the £10.9 million Open Treasure project.

With 300,000 bricks and 1,450 individual modules, Durham Cathedral in LEGO is the largest LEGO model ever built by the general public measuring 3.84 metres long, 1.53 metres wide and 1.7 metres high.

The model has been designed by Bright Bricks, a UK-based company licensed by LEGO to design large-scale LEGO models, who have also worked with museums on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site.

Durham Cathedral’s Head of Development, Gaye Kirby, said: “Durham Cathedral in LEGO has been a brilliant fundraising project, which has attracted thousands of visitors from all over the world to the Cathedral over the last three years. We’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of our visitors and it has been wonderful to watch the model taking shape.

Durham Cathedral in LEGO has been such an important part of Cathedral life for the last three years, and we hope people continue to visit the model, which will remain on public display now it is finished.

For more information about Open Treasure, or to book tickets, please visit