A glorious day for Girton Town Charity who welcomed HRH The Duke of Gloucester on Thursday 13 June 2024 for a special visit.

Girton Town Charity welcomed our Royal Vice Patron, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester to their new award-winning “Passivhaus” almshouse development in the heart of Girton in Cambridge.

His Royal Highness was warmly received by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Julie Spence, Nick Phillips, CEO of The Almshouse Association, Willie Hartley-Russell, Chairman of The Almshouse Association, and Ann Bonnett, Chair of Girton Town Charity.

The Duke was introduced to trustees and staff at Dovehouse Court, after which he embarked on a tour of the UK’s first fully accredited Passivhaus almshouse development.

During the tour, Ian Bramwell, Director of Mole Architects and the mind behind the development showcased the interior of one of the new almshouses. The Duke also had the pleasure of visiting resident Diana Henderson in her home and sharing some homemade pastries and cakes with residents.

The event was commemorated with the unveiling of a plaque and Ann Bonnett expressed the Charity’s gratitude to The Duke, saying

it has been a great pleasure to show you around our new almshouses so you could see first-hand these homes for the future.”

Ann then presented His Royal Highness with a signed copy of local photographer Martin Bond’s new book, ‘Cambridge: Town & Gown.’

Before departing, The Duke remarked,

I am delighted to have been able to come to Dovehouse Court today to see and hear about your ground-breaking development. It is very impressive that your charity, which has a 500-year history, is now looking to the future with these inspiring homes which have preserved the principles of traditional almshouse design with shared gardens and a community courtyard.”

Nick Phillips, CEO of The Almshouse Association, added,

We are very honoured to receive HRH The Duke of Gloucester at one of our member charities, particularly to show off the first example of a new Passivhaus-certified almshouse development. The Duke seemed very interested in how the charity blended historic design with cutting-edge environmental engineering around a welcoming community courtyard, synonymous with almshouse architectural design.”

Earlier this year, Dovehouse Court was highly commended in the Best New Building Over £2 Million category at the 2024 Greater Cambridge Design and Construction Awards, hosted by the Cambridge Forum for the Construction Industry (CFCI) at Pembroke College.