Vandalism further threatens Ludlow’s collapsed town walls

Over the last few days, the collapsed section of Ludlow’s town wall behind St Laurence’s Church has been vandalised, further threatening the stability of the graveyard and wall.

The safety fences in the Garden of Rest have been damaged and some sections pushed to the ground. Sandbags and sheeting have been thrown down from the churchyard into the Compasses back yard exposing sections of the graveyard.

Wrecked security fencing 2 Wrecked security fencing 1 Security fencing wrecked by vandals: 1 September 2014

This is the last thing that we need. There has been some minor vandalism to the fencing during the few months but it looks like there was a determined assault on it the last few days. The sheeting that covers parts of the collapsed wall and the sandbags that support it have been thrown down into the courtyard of the Compasses.

Uncovered from top east 1Covering and sandbags removed by vandals: 1 September 2014

After I alerted Shropshire Council, the fencing was quickly reinstated this morning but much remains to be done. The rock-filled bags supporting the wall are themselves collapsing.

Collapsing support bagsCollapsing support bags: 1 September 2014

What worries me most is that the exposed section of the town wall core is rocky rubble and that of the churchyard is friable soil. It all looks in imminent danger of collapse as the weather worsens. The collapses might not be big at first, but water has a unique way of undermining structures. If we don’t take urgent action we could lose substantial sections of the churchyard, undermining the trees.

Exposed rubble coreExposed rubble core of town wall: 1 September 2014

Shropshire Council inspects the collapsed wall regularly. But inspections will not stop the graveyard and further sections of the wall collapsing. We need action.

The council spends most of its time engaged in a blame game, saying that it is not responsible for the walls and trying to pass the financial buck to the town council. There is not yet a plan to repair the walls, let alone a work schedule or finance on the table. Shropshire Council must take urgent action to resolve this.