Crafty man creates Christchurch Mansion from Crunchy Nut and Jaffa Cake boxes
PUBLISHED: 18:12 28 July 2019
It may have originally been built by the Tudors with bricks and mortar, but now Ipswich's iconic mansion has been recreated using the boxes of some of the nation's favourite treats.
Ipswich vintage TV and radio repairman Stuart Hawkins, 47, used more than 30 boxes of cereal, cakes and biscuits combined with balsa wood to recreate the much-loved mansion paying impeccable attention to detail.
Complete with windows, doors and guttering, the model took the handyman four months to build.
Originally starting as a dare from a friend, Mr Hawkins said he has no idea why he chose to make the model out of cereal boxes.
"I really don't know to be honest," he laughed. "I've done a lot of others, I mainly make models of American horror houses but have done some other Ipswich buildings too.
"I made my first building 27 years ago and haven't looked back.
"For this, I've been smashing up boxes for months, there is probably a good 30 boxes in there from Corn Flakes to Jaffa Cakes."
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The majority of the building was made with cereal boxes, although much of the windows and door frames were made using balsa wood - a wood commonly used for modelling - and pound shop glue.
Each of the thousands of individual brick was painted by hand.
Despite the incredible attention to detail, Mr Hawkins admitted the work isn't perfect: "I don't make models to scale, I just make a few rough drawings and get to work.
"I did miss out a gulley on the roof, I wasn't allowed to see aerial views of the mansion for security reasons."
Accepting he doesn't have the most conventional of hobbies, Mr Hawkins said the project does have its benefits.
He added: "It is a form of therapy, really. This helps keeps my mind occupied and focused on positive things.
"Plus, it is also reusing materials that might otherwise be thrown away."
Originally built by Edmund Withypoll between 1548 and 1550, the mansion was visited by monarchs including Elizabeth I and Charles II before being bought in 1895 by Felix Cobbold, who gave it to the people of Ipswich.
Next month, the mansion will become the home of a nine-month Ed Sheeran exhibition.