Poundbury: Inside King Charles’ architectural experiment town | Travel News | Travel


Hoping to get away for a staycation this autumn? Perhaps, Poundbury, an experimental community built on King Charles’ visions of architecture, is the place to be.

The Duchy of Cornwall official website reads: “Poundbury is an urban extension to the Dorset county town of Dorchester, built on the principles of architecture and urban planning as advocated by The Prince of Wales in ‘A Vision of Britain’.”

It is relatively new, with building only beginning in 1993. It is currently home to some 4,600 people, on 400 acres of land.

Aaron Young took to Youtube to document the lives of people in Poundbury.

Pippa Steintiford stated: “The big reason we ended up here was that everything is within walking distance and it works around family.”

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Ben Black said: “It’s a new town but it’s got an old-school village feel.”

The urban extension is based on four key principles. The first principle is Architecture of place, focusing on creating beauty and reflecting local character and identity.

Next is integrated affordable housing, throughout the development and indistinguishable from private housing.

Poundbury is Mixed use, home to residences, public amenities, retail and other business uses together with open areas, with a focus on community.


Finally, it is a Walkable community, prioritising those on foot rather than cars.

The Duchy of Cornwall website states: “This approach challenges some of the planning assumptions of the latter part of the 20th century.

“As Poundbury has developed, it has demonstrated that there is a genuine alternative to the way in which we build new communities in the UK.”

Far from a lover of modernism, the King supports using the traditional methods that guided Britain’s past to inform the future, as stated in his 1989 book, A Vision of Britain.

In the Architectural Review in 2014, he made his stance on modern town planning clear: “We have to reconnect with those traditional approaches and techniques honed over thousands of years which, only in the 20th century, were seen as ‘old-fashioned’ and of no use in a progressive modern age.”

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Speaking about his architectural experiment Poundbury, King Charles previously stated that he was “determined to create an attractive place for people to live, work and play”.

“Many people said that it could never succeed but I am happy to say that the sceptics were wrong and it is now a thriving urban settlement alongside Dorchester.”

But Poundbury is not yet finished, with the area due to be completed by around 2025.

It will eventually boast a community of roughly 5,800 people.

King Charles visits Poundbury regularly to see the progress of the community, meet residents and workers and check out new businesses.

In 2016, the late Queen Elizabeth II paid a special visit to Poundbury to unveil the Queen Mother Statue in Queen Mother Square.

Other senior members of the Royal Family, including the late Prince Philip, and the now King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla.

For Britons who wish to sample the King’s urban extension for themselves, there are a number of hotels in the area.

The Duchess of Cornwall Inn is a stunning Georgian building, complete with a bar and restaurant, opened in 2016 by Charles and Camilla.

In addition to living, Poundbury provides 2,400 people with work in more than 240 shops, cafés, offices and factories.

A further 200 are employed in construction. Others are self-employed and occasionally work from home.



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