I love this story: The National Trust (opens in new tab) has teamed up with YouTube-famous Minecraft builder Grian to bring an ancient castle to life. The castle is Corfe Castle in Devon, and Grian worked closely with historian Alice Loxton and National Trust archaeologist Martin Papworth to make the build as realistic as possible. And as you can see from the video below, the results are amazing. And because it's Minecraft, this isn't just a static scene: you can interact with it to see how it would have looked in its bustling heyday.
This particular build has been made in The Wild Update, and the castle will be released as a Minecraft Education Edition package in September 2022, enabling teachers throughout the UK to use it in Key Stage 2 lessons in History, Science or Design and Technology. It follows in the footsteps of previous educational builds, such as the International Space Station – a lockdown highlight for my youngest, and a great way to be educational and entertaining at the same time.
The National Trust's site also uses the build as a way to get Minecraft users excited about its other properties: if you're looking for inspiration for your next Minecraft build, the site will happily direct you to its many other properties ranging from other castles to grand houses and even the odd lighthouse: with over 300 historic buildings in its portfolio, there are plenty of interesting and inspiring options that I think could be brilliant Minecraft builds.
I love Minecraft. I don't play it myself, but both my kids do and I'm always amazed by the creativity it inspires in them and in the people whose builds they explore: whether my kids are creating a fortress or, er, a rollercoaster full of pigs with a theme song to go with it, it's a brilliant playground that feels very much like their generation's LEGO.