Kenilworth Castle rebuilt in Minecraft after standing in ruins for over 300 years

  • The palace designed to woo Queen Elizabeth I recreated in all its former glory
  • Minecraft workshops taking place at Dover Castle on 19 August and Kenilworth Castle on 26 August

Kenilworth Castle has been recreated through the online game Minecraft

Kenilworth Castle – one of England’s greatest fortresses – has been rebuilt for the first time in Minecraft, the popular online block-building game, English Heritage has revealed today (14 August). The charity is running Minecraft workshops at a number of its castles this summer so that visitors can build some of England’s most famous castles in the shadow of the real thing.

Three hundred years after it was partly destroyed during the English Civil War, Kenilworth Castle stands tall once again in computer game Minecraft, after English Heritage commissioned expert virtual builders, Blockworks, to restore the magnificent royal castle as part of the charity’s #LoveCastles season. The stunning visualisation reveals how the castle may have looked when Queen Elizabeth I visited on the invitation of her suitor, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

First built in the 1120s, Kenilworth was a royal castle for most of its history, expanded by King John, John of Gaunt and Henry V during its early existence. But it was Robert Dudley’s improvements which had the greatest impact on the castle’s structure. Dudley hoped to woo Queen Elizabeth I during her royal visit in 1575 and spared no expense on creating a lavish palace. The castle’s eventual ruination came after it was taken by the Parliamentarian army during the Civil War in1642. It was partly destroyed in a deliberate act of sabotage and now stands as an imposing and romantic ruin.

Kenilworth Castle has been recreated through the online game Minecraft

English Heritage Head Properties Curator, Jeremy Ashbee, said: “Awesome though it remains, an intact Kenilworth Castle isn’t that easy to visualise – there are huge gaps where walls have been demolished, roofs and floors stolen, and the contents sold off or destroyed. This Minecraft model undoubtedly captures the essence of the castle that greeted Elizabeth I in 1575 – towering buildings, fashionable high Elizabethan windows, the huge lake surrounding it, and the magnificent privy garden. All this will help the public to imagine what the castle was like in its heyday.”

To celebrate castles in all their various shapes and sizes, English Heritage is hosting Minecraft workshops at two of its most popular castles, Dover Castle in Kent on the 19th August and Kenilworth Castle itself, on the 26 August, where YouTuber Amy Lee33 will be on hand to coach players in the art of virtual castle building.

Earlier this summer an English Heritage survey revealed that children’s earliest memories of castles are more than twice as likely to be of a fictional castle than of a real life one. And although nearly two thirds of children (63%) said they enjoy visiting castles, less than 40% had visited one in the past year, and 12% had never visited a castle at all. English Heritage’s Chief Executive Kate Mavor identified the risk of creating an “iCastle” generation and the charity’s #LoveCastles season is designed to encourage families to get out and visit a real castle this summer.

Kenilworth Castle has been recreated in its heyday through the online game Minecraft

#LoveCastles Minecraft Workshop

Sun 19 August at Dover Castle, Kent

Sun 26 August at Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Warwickshire

Join Minecraft experts Blockbuilders and YouTuber Amy Lee33 to try your hand at building the ultimate Minecraft castle. With computers provided, plus a VR headset to see your work in 3D (age restrictions may apply), this is a unique opportunity to build with the pros within the walls of a real life castle. You'll have up to 50 minutes to perfect your ultimate castle, placing blocks or using pre-made floorplans and components such as decorative turrets and strong walls.

The builder of the best castle will be entered into our #LoveCastles promotion to win a stay in an English Heritage holiday cottage. All builds will also be put onto a public server after the event so that you can continue with your project at home. Please note: Workshop places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

'step into englands story