Museum under siege with giant LEGO model of English Civil War

One section of the English Civil War Lego model
One section of the English Civil War Lego model

The Cromwell Museum in Huntingdon has found itself under siege – with a giant LEGO model of the English Civil War

The model shows the storming of Basing House in Hampshire, constructed by Museum volunteer and LEGO enthusiast Mike Addis.

The model, which is over 7 feet wide and 9 feet long, has been assembled over three weeks, and has used over 150,000 Lego bricks in its construction.

The model has been inspired by an episode in the siege of Basing House in 1645, one of the longest and most famous sieges during the English Civil War.

Basing, located just outside modern day Basingstoke in Hampshire, was one of the grandest houses in England and home to the Royalist Marquis of Winchester. It was attacked several times throughout the Civil War, before eventually falling to Parliamentary forces commanded by Oliver Cromwell in 1645. Hundreds of LEGO figures depict the battling Roundhead and Cavalier soldiers around recreations of some of the buildings, earthworks and defences, based on those of Basing House.

Mike Addis is well known in Huntingdon for his large scale LEGO constructions. In recent years he has made everything from a Victorian doll’s house to a life sized Dalek, often to support local charity shops around the Christmas period.

Stuart Orme, Curator of the Cromwell Museum says "Mike’s been incredibly ingenious in creating this massive model bringing to life one of the most famous sieges from Oliver Cromwell’s career, using a vast amount of LEGO from his collection. It’s a spectacular model that will delight both children and those young-at-heart, and has loads of amazing details to look out for. I really would encourage people to come and have a look during the brief time it’s with us”.

The Cromwell Museum holds the best collection of objects relating to the life and times of Oliver Cromwell on public display in the world. The collection comprises nearly 700 items, including portraits, clothing, miniatures, arms and armour, historical documents written by or about Cromwell, and one of his death masks. The Museum is located in the former Huntingdon Grammar School building, which was where Oliver Cromwell went to school.

The LEGO siege model is on display in the Cromwell Museum until June 3rd. The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 3.30pm; admission is free of charge. For more details, visit the Museum’s website at www.cromwellmuseum.org or call 01480 708008 during opening hours.