Blandford

Blandford Forum

Located on the banks of the River Stour, Blandford Forum is the most complete, small Georgian town in England. Following an extensive fire in 1731 Blandford Forum “rose like the phoenix from its ashes, to its present beautiful and flourishing state” as the Fire Monument in the Market Place states.

This unique Georgian gem with its stunning architecture, charming parish church and wonderful Market Place was the inspiration of local architects and builders, the Bastard Brothers. A visit to the town’s quaint museum tells the intriguing story of the rebirth of the town.

Blandford Forum  Design

Blandford Forum has developed over centuries,  starting from the centre of town, where      buildings are older, to the outskirts where  building continues. Many housing styles and  trends are incorporated in the buildings,  although the town is famous for the excellent  examples of Georgian architecture.

Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian Areas

Layout

Much of the Georgian area is in the town centre, where the lower floors of the buildings have been converted into shops. The upper floors have become residential flats, although there is the large residential home interspersed.

Buildings face directly onto the street at the back of the pavement.

Building Character and Form

Many of the central buildings are 3 storeys and terraced. Dormers are much in evidence. There are pitched roofs, as well as a few gabled frontages.

As the buildings move from the centre of the town, more detached and semi-detached houses appear.

Materials

Buildings are generally built with dark red brick, although there is some flint used, with red/brown roof tiles.

Hard Space

Most roads in the older parts of Blandford Forum are quite narrow and, apart from the main roads, parking is a difficulty, because few houses/flats have garages attached. There are, of course, large county run car parks providing shoppers with parking at a price.

Landscape

The town is surrounded by countryside, so open space is not very far away, but there are not many green areas in the centre, other than the Woodhouse Gardens.

Mid/late 20th Century Areas

Layout

There are several large estates, as building moves from the centre. Some have been developed in a grid pattern, while more recent building has brought more character by creating cul-de-sacs, which lead off the main through road.

Building Character and Form

Houses are a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms, and terraced, semi-detached and detached. Houses have very much been ‘fitted’ into the space available, so not all fronts open onto the road, in fact it is often the back gardens, which are adjacent to the pavement.

Whilst back gardens are enclosed by brick walls or wooden fences, front gardens are often open-plan.

Materials

Pale pink bricks are a strong feature of these areas, with darker pink/red roof tiles.

Hard Space

Tarmacadam roads are bordered by pavements.

Semi-detached and detached houses generally have single garages with driveways.

Landscape

There are very few mature trees in evidence.  There are some smaller scale trees are in evidence, but these have been planted by homeowners.

Recent Development e.g. Badbury Heights, Diamond Way, Magistrates Court

Layout

As with most modern design, the gardens on these developments are small and front gardens often non-existent. Many of the front gardens have a low wall, wooden fence or railings that separate them from the pavements. Back garden boundaries have wooden fencing or brick walls around them.

Building Character and Form

There is a mix of accommodation 2, 3 and 4 bedroom dwellings. The designer has sought to create an interesting texture by varying the style and the building materials. So there are semi-detached, terraced houses and flats.