Couple build iconic Ely Cathedral out of 400,000 Lego bricks during lockdown
- Credit: Mike Addis
A Lego-mad couple have built the iconic Ely Cathedral out of 400,000 plastic bricks – complete with stained glass windows and a lantern tower.
Mike Addis and Catherine Weightman began constructing the cathedral during the first lockdown earlier this year and placed the last brick on December 7.
The 62-year-old semi-retired teacher and his 57-year-old wife, from Huntingdon, say this has been one of their more challenging builds over the years.
In 2018, the couple built a giant Lego advent calendar in the run-up to Christmas, they’ve also previously made a huge dolls house and a massive ski resort.
Mr Addis said: “We did a lot of planning at the end of March and we came over to Ely Cathedral and we took lots of external photographs during a walk from Little Thetford.
“We researched on the internet to get the dimensions in order to do everything to scale.
“Originally we thought of doing it to ‘mini fig scale’, the size of actual Lego figures, but that would have been far too big for our house, it would have been 24ft long.
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“We decided to go half mini fig scale, which is called micro figures, and they are half the size from the mini figure, so its 12ft long and about 4ft high.”
The model was originally set to be displayed in the cathedral’s Lady Chapel as part of an exhibition about the Fens, but that was cancelled due to Covid-19.
The build is complete with a snow-topped roof to finish off the intricate scaled-down model which now sits proudly in the couple’s home.
Mr Addis added: “It’s made with approximately 400,000 bricks which is normally what our builds consist of, we’ve done one for the last 26 years.
“Whilst this model isn’t perhaps quite as tall as some of the others, it is very much more complex and much more intricate and it was a bit of a challenge for us.
“There are easier cathedrals to build, with Ely having so many octagons and trying to do an octagon in Lego is not the simplest.
“We’ve done a cathedral a few years back and that was much simpler as that was square.
“The West Tower is even built of lots of octagons and towers, with separate octagons and towers around it so it's not just the main octagon that everybody knows.
“It is quite a complicated model and it took a lot of time – we did take some breaks during the summer when the weather was nice.
“We had a good stint at the build from October onwards, some days we would spend all day on it for eight to 12 hours, it’s difficult to work out hour-wise how much we did.”