Tag: town walls

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.

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.”

Happy unbirthday to Ludlow town walls – seven years after the collapse repairs are still not scheduled

Seven years today Ludlow town walls fell down at the back of St Laurence’s churchyard. 18 February 2013. At a crowded public meeting a few days later, Shropshire Council cabinet member Martin Taylor-Smith told Ludlow that money was not an issue. The unitary council had the money in reserves. The wall would be repaired and soon. Alas! That proved to be misleading. What followed was a lengthy dispute between Shropshire Council, St Laurence’s Church and Ludlow Town Council about who was responsible for paying for the repairs. Two and a half years and a lot of legal bills later, it was agreed that Ludlow Town Council had to foot the repair bill. Now it looks like the wall will not be rebuilt before the tenth anniversary of collapse.

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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