Artist spends £4,000 to build a replica of England’s Lake District out of 200,000 Lego bricks

The artist, who spent £4,000 to build a 200,000 LEGO model replica of the Lake District, has seen his completed work on display for the first time.

Jon Tordoff, 54, started building the 150-square-foot model of the National Park two years ago during lockdown to relax at his home in Milford, Derbys.

But what started as a scale replica of Buttermere Lake soon included Crummock Water, Derwentwater, Borrowdale and Honister Pass.

The huge 14.5ft x 10ft artwork has become so big for the avid roaming lodge that he has never seen it together – until now.

The stunning creation was on public display for the first time at the Belper Library in Derbyshire, where it is on display until tomorrow (Saturday).

Jon, a full-time artist, said: “This is the first time I see it all fully completed together, so this is a special moment for me.

“It has grown so large that it would not fit in my tiny house fully set up, so I am looking for a permanent home for it.

“It was one of the most tedious things I’ve ever done, but I love how it all looks together in one place.

“I’ve done my best to make the topography as accurate as possible, but I wouldn’t advise people to plan their walks around it.

“This is a faithful representation of an area I absolutely love and hope will inspire others to visit the Lake District

“It was just one of the ideas that came to my mind. I started with Buttermere which is one of my favorite places – it’s peaceful and I love all the hills, forests and waterfalls.

“The project then became an obsession and before I knew it, I was working seven hours a day on it.

“It got a little out of control and became a labor of love.”

Jon, who is unmarried and has no children, planned the massive model by downloading Google Earth maps of the area and dividing them into a grid of 2,500 squares.

He then purchased 200,000 bricks directly from Lego or eBay, using greens, greys, blues and browns to accurately recreate the area’s famous scenic landscape.

Jon worked up to seven hours a day during the lockdown and estimates he spent a total of 1,000 hours building the model on 60 different boards.

Jon was inspired by a visit with his young nephew to the Legoland Discovery Center in Manchester, as well as a Christmas present from his sister.

He plans to continue building the model to include even more of the Lake District – including iconic landmarks such as Scafell Pike and Windermere.

Jon also applied to the Arts Council in hopes of gaining funds to buy more Lego bricks to complete his giant project.

He added: “If I had the proper funding, maybe I could replicate the entire Lake District, who knows.

“My guest is that it’s about 200,000 bricks – I never planned it to be that big.

“It probably took me 1,000 hours, I was doing 50 hours a month, about an hour and a half a day. But during the lockdown, I worked seven hours a day.

“They are all square blocks, but you can see the details in them. It looks a bit like a pixelated image that you zoomed in too much on your phone.

“Most Lego bricks were bought during quarantine. I bought one or two sets that I had to leave in the boxes.

“It’s Crummock Water, down Buttermere, down Honister Pass, up Borrowdale, and most of Derwent Water. At the moment Keswick is just turned off.

“As a kid, I loved Lego. One time for Christmas she bought me a Lego set and after I went to Legoland Discovery I thought I might do something similar.

“All the exhibits were great, but they were set on these papier-mâché landscapes, so I wanted to do some Lego landscapes and it just grew from there.”

Isabel Graham, Senior Marketing Director at The Lego Group, said: “We love to see Lego fans express their endless imagination and commitment to designing something as impressive as this.

“It’s great to see how Lego bricks help celebrate nature and areas of exceptional beauty that matter to them.”

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