Corfe Castle in Dorset has seen better days, though the ruins still draw thousands of visitors each year. Its custodians at the National Trust hope a new collaboration with Xbox and Minecraft will inspire a new generation of history buffs.
The game has already seen players recreate fictional strongholds like Hogwarts, Minas Tirith, and Winterfell, but Corfe Castle is a different animal. YouTuber Grian learns this the hard way when he's asked by historian Alice Loxton to build a gloriette, a Butavant tower, and master the English Gothic style.
Though an octagonal prison tower is a challenge for any Minecraft builder ("Four sides, easy-peasy; eight sides is not easy"), both Grian and Loxton are chuffed with the results. Time-strapped viewers will appreciate director Jacques Salmon and UNIT's highlights reel—a block-by-block recap would have been too much.
Budding medieval architects are then invited to rebuild Corfe Castle themselves, with or without historical accuracy. Grian says: "I can't wait to see more people rebuilding this in their own way"... but you know you've screwed up when a raging King John arrives with a bulldozer.