Lack of repairs to Ludlow town walls 'a disgrace'

A councillor has described the continued lack of repair to a town's historic walls as a "disgrace".

It is eight years since a portion of the wall behind St Laurence's Church collapsed
It is eight years since a portion of the wall behind St Laurence's Church collapsed

Thursday marked the eighth anniversary since since a portion of Ludlow's town walls behind St Laurence's Church crumbled.

Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North, Andy Boddington, has chosen the eight-year mark to comment on the still un-repaired damage, calling it "an embarrassment to our town".

"There is no sign of the repairs beginning this year," he said. "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.”

The walls' collapse sparked a two-and-a-half year wrangle over who should foot the bill for the restoration – expected to run into the hundreds of thousands.

Ludlow Town Council agreed in October 2015 to take the lead and pay for the works, but further delays meant little progress was made until 2019.

A breakthrough came in May that year when funding of £38,545 from the Public Works Loans Board was secured and the Morton Partnership was appointed as lead consultant and structural engineer.

Last year the Morton Partnership appointed a conservation accredited engineer as the new project manager to continue explorative works to yield the information required to create an engineered solution to the wall's repair.

"We have one of the most complete town walls in Europe," said Councillor Boddington.

"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. It is crawling along at snail’s pace in arranging the long overdue repairs."

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