IT is nearly seven years since there was a major collapse in a section of the Ludlow Town Wall.

But there is still no solution despite the fact that Historic England has described the condition of the wall as ‘very bad.’

A process of investigating the problem of the walls is being started by Ludlow Town Council.

It was in February 2013 that a section of wall below St Laurence churchyard collapsed.

This resulted in the evacuation of people living in the Upper Linney.

Engineers were brought in and ascertained that it was safe for people to return to their homes.

There was a repair carried out, but the condition of the walls remains a cause for concern although there is no suggestion that there is a risk to life.

However, the poor state of the walls remains with the onset of another autumn and winter.

The collapse of a section of the walls was in part attributed to heavy rainfall and the effect of freezing widening cracks between the stonework.

Ludlow Town Walls are in multiple ownership and this has made it more difficult to put together an overall plan for repair.

The medieval walls are designed as a grade II historic monument.

This means that any repairs have to be agreed with Historic England and undertaken under strict conditions relating to both how the work is done and the materials that are used.

Andy Boddington, who represents Ludlow on Shropshire Council, believes that part of the problem is that repairs in the past were not carried out properly.

“The winter of 2013 was unpleasant,” he recalls.

“Heavy rainfall was followed by a deep freeze.

“The ground behind the churchyard wall became saturated.

“Unfortunately, maintenance of the wall had been neglected for decades by the town council. It had been patched with cement, not lime mortar. Lime mortar has been used for millennia. It takes a long time to set and will not set if the temperature is under 5C.

“The reason lime mortar was and still is used is that under stress, it flexes. Walls bonded with lime mortar bend and lean. For the most part they remain structurally stable. Cement is inflexible.

“All it can do is crack. This is what happened as the wet subsoil in the churchyard froze and expanded. The pressure caused the wall to collapse.”

The cost of repairs will run into millions of pounds.