There is good news for Ludlow’s heritage with yesterday’s announcement from Historic England that the Buttercross has been removed from its risk register. When last year’s register was published, I said I was disappointed that the Grade I listed building was still considered at risk. Now, the Heritage at Risk 2015 Register confirms, by its omission, that the building is no longer at risk.
This is good news indeed and a tribute to all the good work put in by the town council and its local contractors in converting the building to be used as a museum (which should open in the spring).
The town walls, however, remain on the at risk register at the third highest risk category (C). It is now clear that lead responsibility for repairing the walls lies with the town council, which also has responsibility for the temporary repairs. This will be a major challenge for the council. It will need to act quickly to put the expertise, project management and resources in place to get the wall repaired in 2016.
It has already taken too long to get the walls repaired. The longer they remain in a state of collapse, the greater danger there will be more damage, particularly if we get a series of fierce winters. And it’s time to think about the longer term and draw up a heritage management plan for the town walls as a whole.
. The Buttercross is still listed on the online database of heritage assets at risk. However, Historic England tell me: “We have had issues with our IT server, which has meant that the updated version of the online searchable Register hasn’t yet gone live. This is being fixed as a matter of urgency. The PDF 2015 Register is correct – the Buttercross is no longer on the Register.”