Wilfred Owen Oswestry garden is put on market
The orchard, paddock and vegetable garden where Shropshire war poet Wilfred Owen played at soldiers as a small boy have been put on the market by the owners of his birthplace.
The land is within the grounds of Plas Wilmot, which was once the home of the famous World War One poet Owen, in Oswestry.
Now conservationists are suggesting that Oswestry Town Council should buy the site – including the house – perhaps with the support of the Imperial War Museum in a bid to protect it from development and potentially use it as a tourist attraction.
Outline planning permission for seven detached houses on the land was granted in August last year. Shortly afterwards Plas Wilmot was awarded listed status by the Department of Culture on the recommendation of English Heritage.
Shropshire historian Nigel Tinsley, who applied for the Plas Wilmot listing, claims that the land in question forms an integral part of the birthplace site which he considers to be one of Oswestry's most important heritage assets.
English Heritage already acknowledges Plas Wilmot as the most important place in Wilfred Owen's development and says the family would still be able to recognise it as the home which they loved.
"There is no doubt that the setting of a country property such as this is going to be seriously compromised by building houses around three sides of it," said Dr Tinsley.
"We need to secure the entire site or at least the most sensitive parts of it without delay. This may be the last chance to do so."
Dr Tinsley said Plas Wilmot should become the main focus of Oswestry's efforts to attract visitors to the town during the Great War centenary. It could, he said, become a combined community heritage and leisure facility which would also include the adjacent Oswestry Cricket Ground.
The land is marketed by agents Peter Richards & Co, which said homes built on the site would be "highly sought after".
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