Lutyens Cathedral

Cos of the give-away and Simons inspiration i found myself having a renewed interest in Edward Lutyens. I knew him for Queen Mary's Dolls house of course, but in doing so I came across another miniature of his. Not a dolls house, but an architectural model of  "The Cathedral that never was".

In the early 1930's Lutyens had designed a huge Cathedral for the centre of Liverpool. In efforts to raise funds for the build a model was made. Building commenced but unfortunately the second world war  broke out, keeping the project on hold. And as time went by the cost involved kept rising. The cathedral was never erected (only the crypt) and the 12 foot model lived a quiet life stored away. That was till 1992. A full restoration on the model took place. Because the inside of the Cathedral wasn't finished they had to build those parts from drawing. This video shows some of the stages and challenges during that process. Except for scale (it's huge!) I think many of us miniature builders out here can recognize how they went about.

The Cathedral was build from wood and the modern day architectural model makers were not so common to work with it anymore. And I can imagine why, it's relatively heavy and today we have all these modern materials we can work with and use. All sorts of plastics, hard- or cardboard and paper that is less heavy and works a treat to simulating things.

There's lots to find about it on the web. For instance The Liverpool Museums has a website, at the bottom of the page are many links to stroll. Especially the castings of figures used in the model took my eye. Cos of my recent casting adventures with plaster and resin it was sort of comforting to see in the video and pictures that the craft men encountered some of the same issue's and problems.

I hope you enjoy,


  1. It's amazing! Thanks for sharing!

  2. WOW! Fascinating, it looks huge. I'd love to have a closer look, the detail is still incredible. Thanks x

  3. Thanks for posting the link. I have followed that project for a while. I love the old wooden models, there are still quite a few left in Europe. There used to be a museum featuring that type of model Paris but it has closed.

    It is indeed a lost art now that design is done in 3D on computers. The physical models that do get made are now mostly plastics, foam and paper. I have done some of that work for companies now and again but it has little in the way of soul food in the making or the viewing.

  4. I believe it is still in Liverpool Simon. On and off on display, depending on the subject of the exhibition. The Walker Art Gallery is the main keeper of it. It's so big, you'll probably spend days taking in all detail?!

    Yes KArin, we can learn lots from the old artisans and craft men. Cos you work commercially and cos of your back ground I would suspect you to use modern materials. But tell me, I'm I wrong to suspect that its mostly a money issue, and not so much the materials that make it loose it's "soul"?

  5. Hi Debora,
    interesting story.....!! And a great movie about it. Glad you've found it on the internet.

  6. a lot of work and extraordinary! will cost much time and effort, I guess...
    in Italy, there is a large theme park, outdoors, near Rimini on the Adriatic coast, called "Italy in miniature", which was rebuilt Italy, region by region.
    it is represented throughout the Italian peninsula, through its most important monuments, easily recognizable, such as the Colosseum in Rome, or Venice.
    look here, and click on individual Italian regions, to see the sights:

    it is a place for tourists and I imagine that the monuments are not exactly to scale, but is particular, and beautiful to see!
    if one day you come to Italy on vacation, I advise you to see it! :D

  7. forgiveness, I would like to add:
    click on this link, the 4 th picture, to get an idea of size!!

    thanks!! :D

  8. Oooh, that is just wonderful Caterina. If I ever get the change to go to Italy I will definitely try to go there! It looks lovely. Italy has so many wonderful structures and the builders have done a really nice job, by the looks of it. Yes, that picture sort of tells the scale, and I like the way the man and woman bend to have a peek :D.

  9. Debora,
    What a fantastic model! Thank you for sharing something I might never have known about.

  10. That is the coolest thing! Thank you for this post!

  11. trovo il tuo lavoro straordinario!!!
    complimenti sei grande!!!

  12. Amazing model. Thanks for the link. I had a postcard of Queen Mary's dollhouse as a child. But I've never seen it in real life. Would love to see it.


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