Poundbury

Explore the design, construction, and everyday life of this community built in accordance with HRH The Prince of Wales's vision of architecture and urban planning.

Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Poundbury

Poundbury is an urban extension to Dorchester, the county town of the Dorset, built on Duchy of Cornwall land to the principles of architecture and urban planning set by HRH The Prince of Wales. Poundbury is a mixed use, mixed income community inspired by the vibrancy and vitality of our most successful historic towns and cities. To date 1,700 homes have been built for around to 3,500 people, 35% of which are affordable homes that are integrated with and indistinguishable from the market housing. Poundbury is providing employment for some 2,345 people working in the 183 businesses (from shops and cafes to offices and factories), with over half of these businesses having started in Poundbury. A further 550 people are employed in construction across the site.

Poundbury (0001-11)The Duchy of Cornwall

HRH The Prince of Wales and Leon Krier (20th Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

History

In 1987 the local planning authority, West Dorset District Council, selected Duchy of Cornwall land to the west of Dorchester for future expansion of the town. H.R.H The Prince of Wales examined many of the precepts of urban and rural planning in his book ‘A Vision of Britain’, and as Duke of Cornwall took the opportunity to work with the council to create a model urban extension to this ancient market town. In 1988, H.R.H The Prince of Wales appointed the well-known architect and urban planner, Leon Krier, to create a Masterplan for a mixed use community over 400 acres of land known as Poundbury Farm. 

Illustrated Vision of Poundbury (20th Century) by Leon Krier for The Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Design

Krier’s challenge was to create an autonomous new extension to the town inspired by traditional Dorset architecture and based on the urban design principles described in 'A Vision of Britain'. The brief was to create a place designed around people rather than cars, where most of your daily needs can be met on foot. The resulting Masterplan divided Poundbury into four distinctive quarters, similar in density and mix of uses to an historic town centre or city.

First site meeting in 1993 (20th Century) by Leon KrierThe Duchy of Cornwall

This photograph shows architect Leon Krier (front left) and The Prince of Wales (front right) at the first site meeting in 1993.

Masterplan (21st Century) by Leon Krier and The Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Poundbury is an integrated rather than zoned development, planned to challenge the town planning trends and policies of the 20th century which led to isolated housing estates and shopping centres far from places of work and leisure, forcing ever greater reliance on the car.

In particular there are four key principles which have been pioneered at Poundbury:

- Architecture of place: creating beauty and reflecting local character and identity

- Integrated Affordable Housing, integrated with and indistinguishable from private housing

- A walkable community, designed around the pedestrian rather than the car

- A mix of uses, integrating homes with retail and other business uses and public amenities

Bridport Road (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Character of Place

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

“The homes, the workspace and the wider layout of streets, squares and lanes have been designed and built with the surrounding landscape and architectural typologies very much in mind.”
– HRH The Prince of Wales.

Affordable Homes (2014) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Integrated Affordable Homes

35% of homes are affordable housing for rent, shared ownership or discounted sales.

Affordable homes are integrated with private homes and built to the same high specification which makes Poundbury "tenure blind". This helps social cohesion and creates a well balanced, mixed income community.


“Providing housing of this quality really can improve people’s lives and open up a lot of opportunities that would otherwise not be afforded to them.”

– The Guinness Partnership, provider of affordable housing in Poundbury.

Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

A Walkable Community

“At Poundbury the entire Masterplan was based upon placing the pedestrian, and not the car, at the centre of the design.”

– HRH The Prince of Wales.

Buttermarket, South West Quadrant (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

A public realm designed around people rather than cars

Bustling Businesses (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Bustling Businesses (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Mixed use - supporting independent businesses

There are now 185 businesses in Poundbury employing over 2,300 staff. Integrating small workshop and retail spaces into larger blocks has encouraged a lot of small independent, artisan businesses to start up and thrive in Poundbury alongside more established professional services and industrial businesses.

Community (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

"My favourite elements of Poundbury are the independent businesses. I really love the Brace of Butchers, for instance, or Finca Coffee in the Buttermarket, or the Clath menswear shop. These are the sort of places that for me make Poundbury so compelling."


– Ben Murphy, Estate Director

Female Entrepeneurs (21st Century) by Duchy of Cornwall and Photographer Katharine DaviesThe Duchy of Cornwall

Female Entrepeneurs

Inside many of the shops and cafes in Poundbury, more than half of the businesses are owned by female entrepreneurs.

These businesswomen cite the quality of place and space available, affordable rates, ease of parking and the friendly nature of the community as reasons for choosing Poundbury.

Many are working mums who have been inspired to set up their own business from scratch.

Family Businnesses (21st Century) by Duchy of Cornwall and Photographer Katharine DaviesThe Duchy of Cornwall

Family Businesses

The backbone of the UK economy for generations and Poundbury is no exception.

A large number of the artisan and niche shops are run by mothers and daughters, or husband and wife teams such as Cherryade Life Store.

Painting of a Poundbury Street Scene (20th Century) by Leon Krier/Carl LaubinThe Duchy of Cornwall

"I’m so familiar with Poundbury that it is sometimes hard to imagine it through the eyes of someone visiting for the first time.

I think today most people are blown-away by the sheer quality of the spaces and the richness of design, and by the vibrancy created at the heart of the development.

I often say to first-time visitors: ‘please don’t compare us to an old, historic town – the actual comparison should be with a 25 year old modern housing estate’.

I want people to feel as if they have arrived somewhere, not anywhere."

– Ben Pentreath, Poundbury architect

Key plan of Middle Farm Quarter (Phase One) (20th Century) by Leon KrierThe Duchy of Cornwall

Early Masterplan of Phase 1, showing the mix of uses and permeability through the street patterns, with perimeter blocks housing central car parking courtyards.


Poundbury does not restrict car parking but the buildings and public realm take precedence over cars, with very limited road signs and markings. Car speeds are constrained through the design of irregular street patterns, placing the responsibility back onto motorists to think about how they interact with other road users.

Aerial photo showing the full development (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Phase 1

Construction began on the first phase of Poundbury in 1993, comprising 196 houses and 56 apartments surrounding a local centre of shops, pub and community hall. 

Brownsword Hall, Pummery Square (20th Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Brownsword Hall

The hub of Phase 1 is Brownsword Hall on Pummery Square - shown here under construction. The hall was designed by John Simpson in the style of a traditional West Country market hall.

The upper chamber is effectively Poundbury’s community hall, managed by the Poundbury Village Hall Trust and hired out for community, private and commercial events.

The building undercroft and surface of the Square belong to the Hall, and are used for occasional public and theatrical events, as well as a car park.

Click and drag to explore Pummery Square in 360 degrees.

The other buildings fronting Pummery Square provide commercial premise on the ground floor with residential above.

These include the Poet Laureate public house, Poundbury Village Stores, the Octagon Café, the Poundbury Clinic, and a number of smaller shops and services.

Click and drag to explore the Square in 360 degrees.

Aerial photo of phase 1 (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Aerial view of Poundbury Phase 2 under construction in 2004.

Parkway Farm industrial centre, located off Middle Farm Way, includes the Dorset Centre for Creative Arts which provides a wide range of arts and crafts courses, alongside the Stonemasonry College.

Click and drag to explore Middle Farm Way in 360 degrees.

Craftsmanship (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Craftsmanship

The Stonemasonry School in Poundbury, part of Weymouth College, has an international reputation and forms part of the Dorset Centre for Creative Arts, located off Middle Farm Way

Community Plotters (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Peaceful Pottering

One of the best kept secrets in Poundbury are the community allotments and orchards, carefully tended by gardeners throughout the seasons.

Affordable Homes (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Phase 2

Outline planning permission for the second phase of development was granted in October 1999. Phase 2 consists of approximately 900 dwellings and 6 hectares of employment space, and was developed over a 10 year period. As of 2005, The Duchy of Cornwall had provided 35% affordable housing in Phase 2.

Buttermarket, South West Quadrant (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

The South West Quadrant is part of Phase 2, situated between Bridport Road and Middle Farm Way, with views towards historic Maiden Castle.

The focal point of the development is the Buttermarket, with small retail units and workshops lining the square.

At the centre, pictured here, is the striking redbrick Buttercross building which houses Finca, a speciality coffee shop / supplier.

Architectural drawing of The Buttercross (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

Click and drag to explore this area in 360 degrees.

Queen Mother Square (August 2017) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

"When I set out on this venture, I was determined that Poundbury would break the mould of conventional housing development in this country, and 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.”

– HRH The Prince of Wales, 2016.

Architectural Drawing of Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by The Duchy of Cornwall/Quinlan and Francis TerryThe Duchy of Cornwall

Queen Mother Square

The commercial heart and central hub of Poundbury. The Square commemorates Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and features a statue of her by sculptor Philip Jackson with the podium designed by Masterplanner Leon Krier, who designed the square to showcase the statue as its focal point.  The buildings were designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry and Ben Pentreath. Construction began in 2010 with the buildings on the west side of the square. On completion the Square was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 27th October 2016.

Photo of completed Royal Pavilion (21st Century) by CG Fry & SonThe Duchy of Cornwall

Queen Mother Square

Kings Point House on the west includes a Waitrose supermarket, further retail, offices over two floor with 11 flats above. Royal Pavilion (centre of the picture), comprises 20 luxurious apartments above a five star health spa. On the east side, Strathmore House, with 8 apartments above Dorset Wines, in a classical building designed by Quinlan Terry.

On the east corner of the Square is The Duchess of Cornwall Inn, a large public house and restaurant with 20 bed boutique hotel accommodation above. The Inn is a joint venture between Hall & Woodhouse and the Duchy of Cornwall.

On the south side are Poundbury Garden Centre and Newborough House which includes a cafe, offices, cancer research centre and apartments.

Architectural Drawing of Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by Duchy of Cornwall/Quinlan and Frances TerryThe Duchy of Cornwall

Early sketch of Kings Point House by Francis Terry

Strathmore House (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Strathmore House

8 apartments and 2 businesses are to be found at Strathmore House, Queen Mother Square.

Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

"There is a rich variety of architectural style in Poundbury, all based on traditional architectural forms and details. These range from simple cottage vernacular streets to highly sophisticated classical buildings in the Queen Mother Square.

"The approach was taken in order to create an evolving sense of character areas within the development as a whole. It's about breaking the bland monotony that characterises so many 20th century houses estates, where building types repeat with no idea of creating a true sense of place, and no idea of reflecting or creating a sense of local identity."

– Andrew Hamilton, Development Director

Queen Mother Square (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchess of Cornwall Inn, on the east corner of Queen Mother Square.

The statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother stands in the centre of the square.

You can click and drag to explore Queen Mother Square in 360 degrees.

QMS Opening (2016-10-27) by Photographer Finnbarr WebsterThe Duchy of Cornwall

Her Majesty The Queen visiting Poundbury with His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on the occasion of the official opening of Queen Mother Square in October 2016.

The unveiling of the statue of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Her Majesty The Queen unveiling the statue in Queen Mother Square with Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales, and The Duchess of Cornwall.

Aerial photo showing the full development (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Phases 3 & 4

Outline planning permission was granted by West Dorset District Council in December 2011 for the remaining 44 hectares of Poundbury, which will cover the North East and North West Quadrants. Combined this includes a further 1,200 homes, with a new Damers First School, Dorchester Community Church, and new business premises and civic space in Crown Square, with a comprehensive programme of landscaping and new play facilities on The Great Field.

Masterplan of the North East Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

Phase 3

Phase 3, due for completion in 2022, is the North East Quadrant. This area of the development will add an extra 550 homes, ranging from five bedroom houses to one-bedroom apartments, 35% of which will be affordable rent. 

CGIs of North East Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

Working drawings of the Northern Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

CGIs of North East Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

CGIs of Northern Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

Phase 4

The North West Quadrant is the last phase of construction in Poundbury, which is planned to start in 2022. By completion in around 2025 it is expected that Poundbury will have increased Dorchester’s population by a quarter - around 5,000 residents in 2,500 homes and created a similar number of jobs.  

Working drawings of the Northern Quadrant (21st Century) by Ben PentreathThe Duchy of Cornwall

Sustainability (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Sustainability is at the very heart of Poundbury:

In 2012 construction was completed on an anaerobic digester plant at Rainbarrow Farm, a joint venture between the Duchy and local farmers to create the first bio methane gas to grid plant in the UK, using a combination of locally grown crops, manures and food waste.

Two electric buses were put into service between Poundbury and Dorchester - the first operational electric buses in southwest England. They are charged with sustainable electricity from the CHP Plant at Rainbarrow Farm.

A Sustainable Strategy has been put in place as part of the Outline Application for Phases 3 & 4 of Poundbury, which states the Duchy’s intentions for delivering carbon reductions.

Leon Krier (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

"Building Poundbury is an absorbing teaching and learning process for everyone involved, for builders, architects, developers, planners, for those who live and work there and not least for The Duchy of Cornwall team and the masterplanner.”

– Leon Krier, Poundbury masterplanner.

Besides Krier, the key players in the design and development team for Poundbury were...

Andrew Hamilton (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Development Director Andrew Hamilton came on board to oversee the project from the very beginning and has been integral to its success.

Duchy of Cornwall (2017) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

The Duchy team at the very heart of Poundbury has been dedicated to its success for decades. Together, they have worked with many architects, planners, developers, residents and businesses, all playing a tremendous role in making Poundbury what it is today.

Ben Pentreath (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Architect Ben Pentreath

George Saumarez Smith (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Architect George Saumarez Smith

Quinlan and Francis Terry (21st Century) by Duchy of CornwallThe Duchy of Cornwall

Architects Quinlan and Francis Terry

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