Ludlow councillors to go behind closed doors to discuss historic town wall collapse

Councillors will meet behind closed doors for the latest discussions over Ludlow's collapsed 13th Century town walls.

Some of Ludlow's surviving inner walls. Photo: Google
Some of Ludlow's surviving inner walls. Photo: Google

Ludlow Town Council will meet on Monday, with the agenda including a discussion on 'approval of a timetable for legal advice' over the long running issue.

The item is to be discussed in exempt session, with no members of the public allowed to attend.

The issue of the walls dates back to 2013 when two ten metre sections of the historic town defences collapsed.

The collapse was followed by a wrangle over who was responsible for paying to repair the historic walls, with Ludlow Town Council agreeing to lead the work in 2015.

In 2019 the council was successful in a loan of £38,545 from the Public Works Loans Board to carry out survey work to look at the potential options and costs of the project.

That work has been completed, and the council is understood to have a number of options for the structural repairs.

Historic England has helped to fund a town walls management plan and the repair of sections of wall in both private and local authority ownership.

A Town Walls Trust has also been established to promote the protection and care of the walls.

The walls were originally built to protect the town from the threat of Welsh attack and civil war.

It is believed they were built in around 1270.

They encompassed parts of the existing town, making use of Ludlow Castle, and included eight gates and at least three mural towers.

After the 16th century they fell into decline, and in the 21st century only parts of the circuit and the Broad Gate survive.

Current Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow and former town councillor, Andy Boddington, has been critical of the lack of progress on work to repair the walls.

He pointed out that next year will mark a decade since they collapsed.

Councillor Boddington has urged progress, describing the issue as 'time critical,' and said it was time for all parties to come together to find a way forward.

He said: "There has been too much time spent arguing between the town council and the county whose responsibility it is – Historic England have been very good but ultimately someone or a group together are going to have to come forward and foot the bill."

The issue of repair work, which is likely to require significant funding, is complicated by the requirement for it to take place at a certain time of the year – between April and September, because of the historic materials required for the work.

The meeting takes place at 7pm at Ludlow Methodist Church.

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