One man’s mission to build the Lake District from LEGO® comes to Derby


New exhibition opens at the Museum of Making

A giant, scale LEGO® model of one of England’s most famous landscapes will soon be on display at Derby’s Museum of Making.

Artist Jon Tordoff has been on a mission to recreate England’s Lake District out of LEGO® bricks. During the first COVID lockdown, Jon became inspired by his lifelong interest in LEGO® and his love of the Lake District and began creating landscapes out of bricks in his Derbyshire home. He hasn’t stopped building since.

The 12.3 square metre model is made up of over 200,000 LEGO® pieces and started with Jon’s favourite spot, Buttermere, but now includes landmarks Crummock Water, Ennerdale, Honister, Borrowdale and Derwentwater. It represents 47 square miles of the Lake District, at a small but exceptionally detailed scale. The model build is ongoing, and Jon will be adding to the scale landscape – with each LEGO® brick representing 10 metres of the real world – throughout the exhibition.

The model currently covers the northernmost lakes and is over 12.3 square metres in size 132 sq foot. If completed, the landscape will be over 15 metres across in both directions and would be comprised of over 4000,000 LEGO® pieces approx.

Jon Tordoff says:

“I’ve always loved the Lake District, and during COVID I wanted to explore whether it was possible to build a scale model of a landscape that needs to flow out of something that is mainly blocks and squares. I worked out that the smallest plate is 3.2mm high, and using that, calculated that each plate scaled up would be 10m in height with each brick scaling up to 30m high! From there, I used Ordnance Survey maps and Google Earth to survey the landscape, and used that information to build my model. I’m looking forward to adding to it during its run at the Museum of Making, and to meeting people as I build the model.”

Dr Alex Rock, Director of Commercial and Operations at Derby Museums Trust, says:

“We’ve been aware of this spectacular model for two years now, and we’re delighted to be finally showcasing this incredible example of making and enquiry. Jon’s work showcases a love of the natural world and the environment and this family-friendly show will hopefully inspire the next generation of mapmakers, builders and surveyors over the half-term holidays at Halloween, Christmas, and in between.”

Please note, our exhibition is not endorsed/supported by The LEGO® Group.

Images show the LEGO® Lake District model built by Jon Tordoff © Derby Museums/Jon Tordoff.

Find out more about the exhibition here. 

The exhibition opens at the Museum of Making at on Saturday 21 October, please find the opening times for the museum here.

Please join us from 10:30am on Saturday 21 October for our opening event where you can meet the artist Jon Tordoff and other special guests.