The British Landscape Club

Monstrous Carbuncle

I like Dorset - as mentioned in this week’s Lay-by of the Week, it is where a lot of the ideas for The Lie of the Land came from and it is a county that seems to have as many different facets as it has market towns.

But one of those towns – and not just any old market town, but Dorset’s county town – will never be the same again. For Dorchester has been tainted by its association with the monstrous carbuncle that is HRH Prince Charles’ Poundbury or, to give it a name accidentally arrived at in a Freudian slip of the tongue, Poundland.

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This grotesque and repulsive display of architectural pus sits on the eastern horizon as you approach Dorchester from the west. The awful buildings infect the surrounding landscape with their weak-minded parody of a passing resemblance to a rough similarity to a half-remembered Tuscan hill-top village. Who-ever presided over this inferior and wholly unaesthetic effort should be shot through the lungs with high-velocity 2H pencils.

Some of Poundbury is well-executed, even if it is obviously the work of a cobwebbed mind. While the Duke of Cornwall proclaims his love of traditional vernacular architecture and actually has interesting and useful ideas about the sustainability of communities, his biggest showcase looks like a malformed bleb from the side of the A35.
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