Cheltenham’s Coronation Legacy

17 May 2023 0 Comments

Now the bunting has been packed away, plates washed ( or recycled if paper) and the final portion of coronation chickpeas has been consumed, it’s time ponder the potential of the legacy of the reign of a British Royal. 

In Cheltenham, each monarch has left their mark on the urban environment. As a spa town, accompanying the fashion of copying the King’s keenness in mineral water was the boom in neoclassical architecture: stucco facades, swirling wrought iron and grand rows or crescents of majestic town houses.

 Despite expansion of the town, modern makeovers and the odd, unfortunate demolition of a few of these Regency wonders, most postcards of the town will have the pump rooms or the town Council offices with accompanying flower beds as the central image.

Rare Penfold Postbox

For those who long for the great outdoors, the death of King George V was marked by numerous urban spaces such as parks and recreation grounds. Shurdington’s legacy playing field has no doubt been much valued as a space in which to walk, play and view the Cotswold Escarpment as well as escape the ever – growing roar of the traffic on the main road alongside it.

So, what could our new King Charles’ urban legacy be? Maybe just as Princess Elizabeth Way initially provided social housing for the new arrivals to Cheltenham in the 50s, future developments could help to address some current homing issues in the name of our new King? Charles’ foray into social urban planning in the form of Poundbury in Dorset hinted he leans towards cohesion between buildings and their environs.

concept of green cycle path to connect housing

So…how about our next urban development being a low carbon one? ‘The King George III housing estate’? Kind to people and a planet-friendly place to live with affordable homes to buy or rent. All new homes could incorporate the latest technology in reducing carbon and lowering bills, providing quality homes with enough green space to walk…well… a corgi perhaps? What a great legacy such Coronation Cul de sacs could be as real and lasting tributes to a monarch who is often pitched to be more ‘Green’ leaning than those who have come before. 

To crown in all, maybe an integrated cycle network interconnecting these new housing hubs?

Mmm, maybe that might be forced to wait for the next time the Union Jack partyware comes out?

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