Brick to the Past: The Jacobite Risings

With Scotland’s Stirling Castle currently hosting to the most recent LEGO build from the Brick to the Past team, Dan Harris explains the history behind the model

Here at Brick to the Past we are known for our massive, detailed and meticulously researched historically themed LEGO models. We have created loads, from Iron Age brochs to the streets of Victorian London, and are always on the lookout for new and exciting projects to get our teeth into. 2017 was Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and we wanted to join in with the celebrations, so selected the Jacobite Risings as a great topic that represented a pivotal moment in not only Scottish history, but in British history too. We call the model ‘The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for Britain’s Throne’.

For those unfamiliar with the history, the Jacobite Risings were a series of uprisings, rebellions and wars that occurred predominantly in Scotland, but also spread into Ireland and England, between 1689 and 1746. Following the deposition of James II of England and VII of Scotland in the Glorious Revolution, the aims of the risings were to return the Stuart monarch, and later his descendants, to the thrones of England and Scotland (and after 1707, the Kingdom of Great Britain).


While conflict broke out in 1689, 1715, and 1719, the most famous rising is probably the last, that of 1745. During that rising, Charles Edward Stuart, also known as the Young Pretender or Bonnie Prince Charlie, led an army from the Scottish Highlands as far south as Derby before retreating north to be decisively defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. Culloden was the last pitched battle to be fought on British soil and marked the end of any serious attempt to restore the house of Stuart to the throne.

The model is massive, reaching some six metres in length and one metre in height. It contains somewhere in the region of 750,000 to 1,000,000 pieces and upwards of 2,000 individually constructed minifigures. It was built by me, Dan Harris, along with James Pegrum, Simon Pickard, Tim Goddard and Steve Snasdell.


We have made a huge effort to recreate the feel of the Scottish highlands, so we designed trees, animals and buildings that are characteristic of the area. In fact, the two main buildings are scale models of Corgarff Castle and Ruthven Barracks, which are both found in the Cairngorms National Park.

The model was fully unveiled at The Great Western Brick Show in October 2017, but such has been its popularity that it is now on show at Stirling Castle until February 2, 2018. We’ve exhibited in all sorts of interesting venues, but being able to present the model in Stirling Castle is truly amazing. It’s a grand building in a spectacular location and to think what an important place this has been to Scottish history is really rather humbling.

You can find out more and buy tickets to Stirling Castle at the exhibition website.

Image: Donald MacLeod
Image: Donald MacLeod

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