Ludlow’s Buttercross ‘should not be on at risk list’

A landmark 18th century building in the heart of Ludlow should no longer be considered “at risk” by heritage experts, it has been claimed.

The Buttercross, Ludlow
The Buttercross, Ludlow

Ludlow’s Buttercross is being maintained and repaired with a view to turning it into a heritage centre which will house the town’s museum, according to Councillor Andy Boddington.

He said he was “disappointed” the building had been included in English Heritage’s Heritage at Risk 2014 register and added he would be writing to officials asking them to remove it from next year’s list.

The venue’s priority rating was reduced from E to F in this year’s report, making it the lowest priority for action to be taken.

But the councillor added concerns raised about Ludlow Town Walls, which were also included in the register, were fully understandable. A section of the walls collapsed 18 months ago.

Almost 100 sites across Shropshire were included in this year’s report, including churches, Roman sites, sections of Offa’s Dyke and some of the county’s most recognised monuments.

He said: “I am disappointed that the Buttercross is still on the at risk register. Ludlow Town Council has been doing an excellent job of repairing and converting the building into a heritage centre. The building is no longer at risk.

“I’ll write to English Heritage asking them to remove the building from next year’s edition of the risk register. English Heritage is, however, spot on about the town walls.

“Progress on negotiations for repairs has been excruciatingly slow, with no firm plan yet in place. There is every danger of further falls.

“The other monument in Ludlow that ought to be on the Heritage at Risk Register is the cobbled surface on Broad Street.

Over the years, they have been severely damaged and badly repaired by utilities contractors. Unfortunately, the cobbles are only listed at Grade II and that’s not high enough for inclusion on the risk register.”

Bedlam Furnaces in the Ironbridge Gorge is a new entry and has been listed in the highest priority category.

According to English Heritage, “exposure to the elements has led to water damage”. Talks are taking place between English Heritage, Shropshire Council and Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust to find a way forward.

The main building at the Flax Mill in Shrewsbury – the first iron-framed building in the world – is ranked in the second highest priority category, although the report does note multi-million pound plans to regenerate the site are taking shape.

The Apprentice House, Stove House and Dye house on the site in Ditherington are also listed.

Lord Hill’s Column in Shrewsbury remains on the register with a high priority rating as it “suffers badly from exposure to the weather”.

It is hoped the statue at the top of the column, which has started to crack, will be replaced in the next few years.

Brogyntyn Hall, near Oswestry, has been unoccupied for more than a decade and is under threat from rain water and dry rot, while sections of sandstone on Shrewsbury Town Walls are deterioriating. Uxacona Roman site in Redhill, Telford, is also on the register as a scheduled monument potentially at risk of future development.

Subscribe to our Newsletter