Heritage at Risk: It has been six years since Ludlow town walls fell – still they lie fallen

Two years ago, I wrote about the delays in repairing the collapsed town wall behind St Laurence’s Church. This Monday, 18 February, is the sixth anniversary of the collapse. No repair work has been done. The churchyard behind the church remains an ugly mess that damages the setting of the Cathedral of the Marches. Saplings are growing out of the collapsed wall face weakening the historic monument further.

We have one of the most complete town walls in Europe. But neglect and overdue repairs have led Historic England to add Ludlow town walls to its Heritage in Danger list. The town council should be ashamed of this.

Ludlow Town Council is crawling alone at snail’s pace in arranging the long overdue repairs. I fear I may be still be writing about this on the tenth anniversary of the collapse in February 2023.

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Collapsed Ludford wall at last scheduled for repairs by the summer

Early last year, a stretch of historic retaining wall collapsed on the Overton Road at Ludford. There have been two-way lights in place since. The work to repair the wall will be more extensive than first thought and could take three months. The lights are therefore likely to be in place until the end of June.

An application has been submitted for listed building consent to allow the work to go ahead.

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Former Budgens store in Ludlow is now an eyesore

The former Budgens Store on Upper Galdeford has been for sale for several months. In the last couple of days, it has been boarded up with OSB sheets. The contractors tell me there are no plans to paint the boarding. It is an utter eyesore and makes this part for the town centre look like a rundown inner city district. The boarding is also an open invitation to fly-posting and graffiti.

If it is to remain boarded up, it should be painted as a giant mural.

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Our town centre must thrive but it can be hard to balance the needs of commerce, events and residents

I was in Port Sunlight on the Wirral a couple of weeks ago. On its nearest high street in New Ferry, one in two shops were shuttered up. I have also been to Eccles and several other centres in a similar state of collapse. Those experiences have brought home to me how lucky we are to have a thriving town centre in Ludlow. But sometimes the needs of residents are hard to reconcile with town centre life.

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Revised proposals for signage and lighting at the Wheatsheaf are a great improvement

Last July, Marstons submitted a planning application to spruce up the outside of the Wheatsheaf on Lower Broad Street. At the time, I said the plans “do not suit historic Ludlow and will damage the historic character of Lower Broad Street.” New plans have now been submitted. They remove a large sign one the west wall by the Broadgate. Plans to replace the pub name panel on the front of the pub have also been dropped. These plans are a great improvement and I think they are now fit for approval (17/03335/ADV).

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