This paper explores how a legacy digital artefact can be adopted within formal education settings and looks at the pedagogical and other opportunities created by its use within primary and secondary classrooms. In particular, through a compar-ative case study of three schools in the UK, the paper investigates the potential of using a virtual 3D model of the 1938 British Empire Exhibition in formal educa-tional settings and highlights a number of salient issues and challenges that emerged. As the data suggests, engagement with the model created opportunities for playful learning, facilitated motivation and collaboration, and enhanced stu-dent interest. However, participation was often compromised by barriers such as the wider pressures of the curriculum, assessment regimes and teacher time as well as technical inhibitors and limitations. In light of the above, the paper con-siders the range of actors and factors that influenced the experiences of teachers and students who engaged with the use of the 3D model and concludes by consid-ering the implications of these findings.