1885 The Old Dorchester Gaol (Dorchester Prison Redevelopment)

1885 The Old Dorchester Gaol (Dorchester Prison Redevelopment)

Dorchester, United Kingdom
Project Year


Private Houses
Purcell Architects

Planning success for Dorchester prison redevelopment

Purcell as Architects

Planning permission has been granted for architect Purcell’s residential redevelopment of Dorchester prison for City & Country. The proposal to develop the former HMP Dorchester was granted planning consent by West Dorset District Council on 16 February 2017.

Closed in 2013, HMP Dorchester is where the last woman was publicly hanged in Dorset. The prison, located on the site of a Norman castle, has historic links to the author Thomas Hardy. While most of the buildings are late Victorian, its Grade II listed gatehouse dates from the late 18th century.

The approved plans will create 185 homes. The main cell blocks will be transformed into 60 one and two bedroom apartments, while new terraced mansion-style buildings will provide 125 further apartments. The gatehouse will be converted into a heritage interpretative space for the public. The designs also include new terraced houses and apartments outside of the prison walls, transforming what is currently a car park into an improved public space on North Square at the entrance of the former prison site.

The site is owned and being developed by City & Country and Purcell is the architect and lead consultant. The project team includes landscape designers OPEN, planning consultants JLL, multi-disciplinary engineers Hydrock, transport consultants Calidus and structural engineers The Morton Partnership.

Project Credits
Landscape Architects
Product Spec Sheet

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