“A beautiful, historic boutique hotel in the heart of Ludlow” – plans for Castle Lodge to be aired

Castle Lodge, which sits outside Ludlow Castle and just off the Market Square, is about to get a makeover, if planning permission and listed building consent are granted. For years, this Grade II* building has been a rather curious museum of curiosities. With the main structure of the building dating back to Elizabethan times, it has been waiting for someone with a deep pocket to invest in its future. According to a report in the Shropshire Star, it was sold in 2018 for £650,000.

Now, a group of entrepreneurs have come forward with plans for its future. They plan a venue that is:

“Open to all. A great place to celebrate… or relax and sample everything the town has to offer. More than a hotel, also a tearoom, bar, family venue, lounge and an activity centre.”

The plans will be presented to Ludlow Town Council tomorrow night, 16 October, at 7pm.

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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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