On Friday 15th February His Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall visited Bletchingdon Estate Development, part of the Duchy of Cornwall’s Eastern District. During the visit, His Royal Highness toured Bletchingdon Parochial Church of England School and met with students and teachers. Stopping in to Kingfisher class, The Prince spoke to students making celtic oatcakes as part of their learning about Great Britain. His Royal Highness then visited the school’s garden to see students involved in gardening and crafts.
The school’s current building opened in 2015, following a period of fruitful collaboration between the Duchy of Cornwall and the local community. The Duchy worked with the trustees of Bletchingdon Parochial Church of England School, which was at capacity and becoming unfit for purpose with a lack of space and facilities, to identify a site on Duchy land where they felt a new school could be constructed. The village hall charity soon came on board to suggest they constructed a hall on the same site, which could double up as the school assembly hall. This would replace the 1920s timber clad village hall, which was in a poor state of repair and becoming a drain on local limited resources. The local community wanted a hall, with features fit for the 21st century and built to a high standard of design and architecture, which coincided well with the Duchy of Cornwall estate’s ethos and outlook on the built environment.
During the royal visit, His Royal Highness saw how this dual purpose building has successfully served the community speaking to children having their lunch on one side of the hall before attending a reception for the Bletchingdon Community Foundation next door. Attendees at the reception also included members of the parish council, school governors and developers.
The Prince then visited the site of the new community shop, another result of the Duchy’s consultation with the local area, which is due to open in spring of this year. His Royal Highness also undertook a walking tour of the development’s residential area, stopping in at the home of Richard and Katriona Ormiston-Rees to hear how they were enjoying their new house on the estate. Before departing, The Duke planted a tree to commemorate the visit.
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