Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey is rebuilt - using 4,000 Lego bricks

St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer, Dan Clarke, receives the Abbey West front Lego brick model, made by radiographer Nigel Beeton. Picture supplied by Christopher Morris PR. ANL-161204-121110001
St Edmundsbury Borough Council Heritage Officer, Dan Clarke, receives the Abbey West front Lego brick model, made by radiographer Nigel Beeton. Picture supplied by Christopher Morris PR. ANL-161204-121110001

A Lego enthusiast has spent two years re-creating the west front of Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey from the famous bricks.

Nigel Beeton, who is a radiographer at West Suffolk Hospital, devoted 30 hours putting together the estimated 4,000 bricks, 40 hours drawing the plans and 100 hours researching online for parts from across the globe for his impressive replica.

The 55-year-old, who has a keen interest in local history, was inspired to embark on the project after receiving a copy of Lego artist Warren Elsmore’s book Brick City in 2013.

His model is now on display for the final stretch of Moyse’s Hall’s Lego exhibition, which takes its name from Elsmore’s book.

Mr Beeton, of Hardwick Lane, Bury, said: “I’ve always been fascinated by the Abbey and decided Lego bricks were a great way to create a visually satisfying three-dimensional model and capture some of the history of this imposing and magnificent building.”

During a visit to Brick City he mentioned his creation to staff who jumped at the chance to showcase the 1:140 scale model. It is Mr Beeton’s first major self designed project after he created Tower Bridge using a Lego kit. He used an artistic interpretation by A.B. Whittingham for the Abbey.

It complements replicas of the Abbey Gate and Moyse’s Hall Museum.

Heritage officer Dan Clarke said: “We were amazed by the detail including the towers, stained glass windows and castlettes and as our favoured period is the medieval, we were more than happy to put it on display and would like to thank Mr Beeton for sharing it.”

More than 12,500 people have so far enjoyed the exhibition, which runs until April 24.