Last lego

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


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

Open Treasure - Durham Cathedral

Discover Open Treasure at Durham Cathedral World Heritage Site

News, World Heritage Sites

Open Treasure is a new world-class exhibition experience now open at the heart of Durham Cathedral.
Durham Cathedral has invested over £10 million in Open Treasure, part of a major development project which has transformed how visitors enjoy the Cathedral and gain inspiration from it.

Open Treasure gives visitors access to previously hidden spaces within the Cathedral’s magnificent Claustral buildings, showcasing the Cathedral’s collections so that they can be discovered and enjoyed by many more people of all ages.

The journey begins in the Monks’ Dormitory and continues through a new state-of-the-art Collections Gallery into the Great Kitchen, before visitors return to the Cloister via the Pilgrimage and Community Galleries in the Covey. These new exhibition spaces allow the Cathedral to display treasures from its internationally important collection with a dynamic rolling exhibition programme.

A complementary programme of learning and outreach is providing a range of exciting learning opportunities and events for school children, families and community groups.

Tickets for Open Treasure are available online and from the Visitor Desk in the Cathedral. Click here to plan your visit.

“Wall to Wall, Lindisfarne to Carlingford”

30th Anniversary, Arts, Events, Exhibition, News, World Heritage Sites

Durham Castle- credit ADTeasdaleWe seem to be moving rather swiftly through 2016, the year in which we are celebrating 30 years since Durham received its World Heritage status, and I’m delighted to be able to tell you about our forthcoming exhibition:

“Wall to Wall, Lindisfarne to Carlingford”

by Martin Matthews

An exhibition of Original Paintings, Limited Edition Prints and New Music.  Experience a journey from Lindisfarne to the Mourne Mountains in music and paint.

This highly successful exhibition, last shown in Durham in February 2014, is again being shown at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, and this time will be accompanied by the newly released CD “Cowraik to Carlingford” the partner piece to the first CD in the cycle, “Lindisfarne to Walltown”.

 It gives us great pleasure to invite you to the opening of this exhibition, please RSVP if you would like to join us at the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre on the 4th May (6pm – 7.30pm), meet the artist, and enjoy some refreshments. Our address and contact details are below.

We look forward to seeing you.

Best wishes,


Shift Leader

Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre

7 Owengate



 Phone:     0191 334 3805