Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting LU NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Counting the £250,000 cost after Ludlow's historic town wall collapses
DEATH or serious injury were avoided by sheer luck when tons of rubble came crashing down in Ludlow town centre.
A section of the historic town wall collapsed damaging a parked car and garages, but because it happened in the early hours of the morning no one was hurt.
The incident happened at about 3am on Monday morning leaving the town’s garden of rest and an area around the back of the Compass pub covered in rubble.
A long section of the 12th century wall has been destroyed leaving the town facing a massive repair bill.
“It is so fortunate that it happened at night when there was no one about,”
said Rosanna Taylor-Smith who represents Ludlow on Shropshire Council.
“The first priority has been to make the area safe and undertake any emergency work to ensure there is no risk to life or property.”
Rocks have fallen onto an area of the graveyard and it is still not known for certain if any g raves have been damaged but an initial examination revealed no evidence of any bones.
Experts believe that the fall may be linked to the impact of the frost and heavy rain. It has resulted in checks being made to check for any instability in other sections of the town wall that dates back to 1233.
A permanent repair will have to be undertaken with the approval of English Heritage as the wall is a listed ancient monument.
Stone masons will be required to use a special lime that will only dry during the spring and summer restricting the time period when the work can be done.
An initial estimate is that the cost will be at least £250,000 but it could be much more if other sections need urgent repair.
Restoration of the wall was the major element in a Heritage Lottery bid for £1.2 million led by Ludlow Town Council that was rejected last September.
A revised bid will be submitted later this year.
In the meantime any costs will have to be taken from the unallocated reserves of Shropshire Council that stand at £4 million.
“This just shows the importance of having reserves,” said Martin Taylor- Smith, who also sits for Ludlow on Shropshire Council.
“People who criticise us for our reserves need to realise that the £4 million is the element that is not allocated and this is not a lot of money to cope with emergencies such as this collapse.”
The latest incident reinforces concerns about the state of other sections of the Town Wall.
A section of the Castle Street car park has had to be cordoned off to allow emergency repairs.