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Ludlow Civic Society | 51 Julian Road | Ludlow SY8 1HD | Email:ludlowcivic@gmail.com

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Jubilee Gardens

The Jubilee Garden is an important piece of land by the East window of St Laurence’s Church and next door to The Reader’s House. This had historically always been green land right in the centre of the town, as part of the setting of these two Grade I listed buildings.

Sadly, a developer sought to build five executive homes on it having acquired the rights to the land in 2003. There followed a nine-year battle to defeat this, with many prominent local, national, and even international celebrities coming to assist the town in their fight.

After much legal wrangling, the developer was finally defeated, and with the assistance of a “white knight” lender, the land was saved. It was agreed that part of the plot would have a new almshouse built on it to be managed by Hosyer’s, and the remainder would be bought by the Ludlow Civic Society with the eventual aim of turning it into a publicly accessible garden.

With many public donations, the Society raised £112,000 to purchase this in 2012, the year of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. HRH Prince Charles visited later that year and cut the first symbolic weed.

However, the new almshouse had to be built before work could start on creating the garden. More delays - mostly involving relocating a BT pole - meant that this could not start until 2016.

The almshouse is now complete - a small block of four flats - and the Society took possession of the land at the start of 2017. Garden designs and fund-raising plans were dusted off as we got to see for the first time exactly how the site was laid out.

The hard landscaping of the garden is now underway. This includes getting the levels and gradients right, repairing the historic boundary walls and completion of the gateway to be shared with the almshouse. There follows the laying out of the flower beds, the paving and gravel paths and the centrepiece, which is the millstone from Hockey’s mill which used to sit under the Buttercross.

The garden will be opened and ready for planting later in 2017. 

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