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Historic Ludlow town walls and the Buttercross may be in structural danger
TWO sites in Ludlow are on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register – and one of them is getting worse.
The watchdog, which cares for historic places, publishes a list of structures throughout the UK that it considers to be at risk.
Its latest list that has just been released, includes the Ludlow Town Walls and the Buttercross.
English Heritage is most concerned about the town walls that have been downgraded from category D to C in the latest listing.
The condition of the wall is described as “poor” and there are serious concerns because the walls have many different owners and in some cases responsibility is disputed.
English Heritage pulls no punches about its concerns about the structure: “Medieval town wall in multiple ownership.
English Heritage has helped to fund a town walls management plan and the repair of substantial sections in local authority ownership.
“A Town Walls Trust has been established to promote the protection and care of the walls.
“A major section of wall below the parish church collapsed in spring 2013, other small collapses have taken place on the south section where ownership is disputed.”
A section of the wall in the vicinity of St Laurence's Church has been repaired this year when a partial collapse resulted in some nearby residents being moved out as a precaution for a short period.
In 2012, Shropshire Council repaired a stretch along the back of the Market Street car park.
Because of the special nature of the wall repairs are strictly supervised by English Heritage and include the use of a special lime mortar that can only be applied in the summer months when there is no risk of frost.
This makes repairs very expensive and because the cause of the problem is old age and wear and tear, work is not normally covered by insurance.
English Heritage is more hopeful about the Buttercross. It says: “The Buttercross was designed by William Baker and built c1746. It is a dominant public building in centre of Ludlow which was used as the town council office and chambers.
“The council has moved into new accommodation and a new user for the Buttercross therefore needs to be found.
“External repairs were completed with the help of English Heritage grant and final repairs to ceiling plaster will be completed in 2013.”
It is intended that next summer The Buttercross will open as an educational centre.
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