Category: Heritage

Update on Ludlow Town Wall repairs

Last night’s Annual Town Meeting was fairly well attended with more than 20 residents. The usual question and answer session followed presentations by councillors. Jennifer Gill asked about progress on repairing the town walls behind St Laurence’s Church, which fell nine years ago. Mayor Robin Pote gave the reply. He said the work could cost £3 million, money that many need to be borrowed. This might be borrowed from the Public Works Loans Board. My back of envelope calculation is that would lead to repayments of around £150,000 a year if the loan period was the normal 30 years, roughly a third of the council’s budget. Councillor Pote said: “The wall is owned by St Laurence Parochial Parish Church (PCC). Shropshire Council took the emergency response lead at the time of the collapse. A legal debate between Shropshire Council, the Town Council and PCC commenced in 2015, and Ludlow Town Council agreed to lead those looking for a way of funding the necessary repairs to the collapsed section of the Ludlow Town Wall, next to the Garden of Rest.

Statement from Powis Estates on the Medieval Fayre and Ludlow Castle

Following the announcement that the Medieval Fayre is no longer viable after the impact of the pandemic and Storm Arwen, the castle trustees have issued a statement.   “Powis Estates, who proudly own and maintain Ludlow Castle, are incredibly disappointed that the Medieval Fayre will not be returning to the Castle this year. However in light of Storm Arwen’s devastation, along with Covid-19, the decision is entirely understandable bearing in mind the huge financial losses and the risks involved in putting on future events. “The Castle is owned by Trustees. They remain committed to a five-year £1m rolling programme of maintenance and remedial work to the ruin, in light of its nationally important grade 1 listed status. All profits are reinvested into the ruin to ensure its long-term future.

It’s nine years since the town walls fell in Ludlow and they remain fallen

On the morning of 19 February 2013, Ludlow awoke to learn that a section of the town walls behind St Laurence’s Churchyard had collapsed. There was a further collapse two days later at which point Shropshire Council stabilised the wall with bags of sand. The collapses happened after a prolonged wet period followed by a plunge in temperatures to -10C. Nine years later, the wall is still in a state of collapse though there has been slow progress towards getting this collapsed section of wall rebuilt. After a dispute about who was responsible for the repairs, Ludlow Town Council accepted responsibility in October 2015. Nothing much happened for a few years. Different options for repair and reinstatement have recently been discussed following a report to Ludlow Town Council from the Morton Partnership. They involve different levels of disturbance to the churchyard and different potential costs. The repairs could cost between £3m and £5m. The council will need to apply for a grant. If it must fund the work itself, the council’s precept could rise by 65%.

Ludlow’s collapsed town wall should be registered as a Monumental Failure and become a tourist attraction

Next Thursday 18 February 2021, it will have been eight years since the town walls fell at the back of St Laurence’s. There is no sign of the repairs beginning this year. What hope is there of the collapsed section being completed before the tenth anniversary? Almost none in my opinion. I would like to be proved wrong. The failure to repair one of Ludlow’s principal monuments is an embarrassment to our town. St Laurence’s churchyard is still disfigured by Herras fencing. It’s a disgrace. Unless there is action soon, we should perhaps register the collapsed wall as a Monumental Failure and make it a tourist attraction. A blue plaque declaring: “Here lieth the town walls. Resting in pieces since 18 February 2013.”

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