Sunderland TV presenter joins project to build Lego Durham Cathedral replica

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A SUNDERLAND-born television presenter and architect has spoken of his affection for Durham Cathedral at the launch of a project to build a Lego model of the building.

George Clarke said it is his favourite building “on the planet,” and the one which inspired him to become an architect.

Architect George Clarke with a giant Lego brick, launching the Durham Cathedral Open Treasure project, which will include building a model of the cathedral from Lego. He is pictured with members of the cathedral's team of stone masons, Ivor Crowther from the Heritage Lottery Fund North East and the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove.

Architect George Clarke with a giant Lego brick, launching the Durham Cathedral Open Treasure project, which will include building a model of the cathedral from Lego. He is pictured with members of the cathedral's team of stone masons, Ivor Crowther from the Heritage Lottery Fund North East and the Very Reverend Michael Sadgrove.

“When I was asked to do this I accepted in a millisecond,” said George, 38.

“I think I was first brought here in a pushchair by family, and it was certainly the cathedral which made me want to be an architect from about the age of 11 or 12.

“We lived in Blackfell, Washington, and I would regularly get the bus through to draw parts of the building.

“I still have some of the drawings.

“I did my dissertation at university on the subject of stained glass and one of the windows in the cathedral.

“It is a very special place to me, I will do anything I can to help the cathedral and I hope others feel the same.”

The Lego model will take about 100,000 bricks to build and be about the size of a small car.

Members of the public will be able to sponsor a brick for £1, or take part in the building under the guidance of expert Lego modellers. Money raised from the bricks will go towards Open Treasure, a multi-million pound project to develop the area around the cathedral’s cloisters.

The Dean of Durham, the Very Revd Michael Sadgrove said: “The aim is to enhance the cathedral’s welcome to visitors by transforming the historic buildings around the cloisters into outstanding exhibition spaces.

“Our marvellous collection of manuscripts, books and religious artefacts dates from Saxon times and deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

“Creating a Lego cathedral is a great way to get everyone involved and encourage them to play their part in this important fund raising drive.”

Volunteers interested in building the cathedral are asked to attend a two-hour briefing session on May 20 at either 3pm or 7pm.

More details from the cathedral via email: events@durhamcathedral.co.uk.

Details of how to sponsor bricks will be released later.

Organisers hope the model will be completed by October of this year.