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Middlemarsh Street - geograph.org.uk - 384233.jpg
Middlemarsh Street
Poundbury is located in Dorset
Poundbury shown within Dorset
Population 2,500 
OS grid reference SY671549
Civil parish
Shire county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district DT1
Dialling code 01305
Police Dorset
Fire Dorset and Wiltshire
Ambulance South Western
EU Parliament South West England
UK Parliament
List of places
50°42′48″N 2°27′58″W / 50.7133°N 2.466°W / 50.7133; -2.466Coordinates: 50°42′48″N 2°27′58″W / 50.7133°N 2.466°W / 50.7133; -2.466

Poundbury is an experimental new town or urban extension on the outskirts of Dorchester in the county of Dorset, England.

The development is built on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, it is built according to the principles of Prince Charles, who is known for holding strong views challenging the post-war trends in town planning that were suburban in character.


The development is built to a traditional high-density urban pattern, rather than a suburban one, focused on creating an integrated community of shops, businesses, and private and social housing. There is no zoning, the planners say they are designing the development around people rather than the car, and they aim to provide a high-quality environment, from the architecture to the selection of materials, to the signposts, and the landscaping. To avoid constant construction, utilities are buried in common utility ducts under the town. Common areas are maintained by a management company to which all residents belong, it consists of 40% social housing and is designed for sustainable development, which includes being carbon-neutral.[1]

To some degree, the project shows similarities with the contemporary New Urbanism movement, except that the design influences are European, the designs of the houses are in traditional and new classical styles, with period features such as bricked-up windows, a feature found on many old British buildings, due to the window tax.[2]

Poundbury's aesthetics have been criticised by several commentators.[3][4] Architecture writer Jonathan Meades labelled the town a "cottagey slum" and a "Thomas Hardy theme-park for slow learners".[5] ARCHITECT magazine's Witold Rybczynski, however, says that "Poundbury embodies social, economic, and planning innovations that can only be called radical."[3]

Poundbury as seen from Maiden Castle

Although construction started in October 1993, the overall plan was conceived in the late 1980s by the Luxembourgian architect Leon Krier, and its development and architectural co-ordination is still ongoing under Krier's direction, it is expected that the four plan phases will be developed over 25 years with a total of 2,500 dwellings and a population of approximately 6,000.

Greetings card entrepreneur Andrew Brownsword sponsored the £1 million development of the market hall at Poundbury, designed by John Simpson and based on early designs, particularly the one in Tetbury.[6]

Following New Urbanist principles, Poundbury was intended to reduce car dependency and encourage walking, cycling, and public transport. A survey conducted at the end of the first phase, however, showed that car use was higher in Poundbury than in the surrounding (rural) district of West Dorset.[7] Nonetheless, the community is receiving positive recognition from New Urbanist publications such as Better Cities and Towns.[8]


One notable local employer since 2000 is the breakfast food manufacturer and exporter Dorset Cereals, which employs more than 100 people at its purpose-built barn factory.[9]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Pentreath, Ben, How the Poundbury project became a model for innovation, Financial Times, 1 November 2013
  2. ^ "Around Poundbury". BBC Dorset. July 2008. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Rybczynski, Witold (3 December 2013). Behind the Façade of Prince Charles's Poundbury. Architect. 
  4. ^ Bayley, Stephen (7 December 2008). "I'll show you a real carbuncle, Charles". The Guardian. To visit Poundbury is to be delivered to the furniture floor of a provincial department store in 1954, translated into architecture. It is fake, heartless, authoritarian and grimly cute. 
  5. ^ Seale, Jack (2 February 2013). "That Week on TV: The Joy of Essex, BBC4; The Story of Music, BBC2". Radio Times. 
  6. ^ Worsley, Giles (30 January 2011). "A model village grows up gracefully". The Telegraph. 
  7. ^ Watson, G., Bentley, I., Roaf, S., and Smith, P., 2004. Learning from Poundbury, Research for the West Dorset District Council and the Duchy of Cornwall. Oxford Brookes University
  8. ^ Steuteville, Robert, At 20, Poundbury is winning converts Archived 10 November 2013 at Archive.is, Better Cities and Towns, 5 November 2013
  9. ^ "Dorset Cereals: Changing the world, one breakfast bowl at a time". The Independent. 28 June 2012. 
  10. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-35927608

External links[edit]