Xbox partners with the National Trust to rebuild Corfe Castle in Minecraft

To celebrate the launch of Minecraft’s The Wild Update, which features ancient ruins throughout its landscapes, Microsoft is shining a light on the ancient ruins of the UK.

To do this, we have partnered with the National Trust, Europe’s largest conservation charity, to create a unique Minecraft build of Corfe Castle, in Dorset.

The build will be developed by Minecraft YouTube creator Grian and showcased through a hero video presented by up-and-coming British presenter and historian Alice Loxton. The aim is to help engage a younger audience with historical monuments and landmarks across the country, asking them to reimagine their own builds in the game, via the Marketplace.

The content will be launched ahead of the National Trust’s Festival of Archaeology, culminating at Corfe Castle, where demos will be available to guests so they can re-imagine their own version of the ruin using the foundations. To support long-term positive impact of this project, a Minecraft: Education Edition package of the experience will be developed, benefiting children in classrooms across the UK.

Martin Papworth, an Archaeologist at the National Trust, said: “We are pleased to partner with Xbox and see young people engaging with the UK’s rich historical heritage through the help of technology. Grian has done a brilliant job restoring Corfe Castle to its former glory. He not only accomplished an accurate recreation of the various historical styles within the castle grounds, but also combined it with his own imagination. We cannot wait to see more inspirational designs by more young minds.”

Grian added: “It was a great experience working with the National Trust to rebuild Corfe Castle in Minecraft. This project was right up my alley in terms of interests. I look forward to seeing how people rebuild the ruins in their own way. The fact that this will have an impact on education is what makes this project extra special for me. Using gaming to enhance learning is something I never experienced at school but I’m so glad that some students today get to.”