This incredible Minecraft project proves that gaming is good for you

The National Trust enlists one of Minecraft's best builders to bring an ancient castle back to life

Corte Castle
(Image credit: Microsoft)

I love this story: The National Trust 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

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).