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. In support of that build the plot became the essential 'builders' yard' . The undeveloped plot destined to become the garden is pictured under the photograph of Prince Charles.
The garden plot became available in 2016 and was made ready for planting in 2017. Preparatory work included adjusting the levels, (to preserve any subsurface archaeological artefacts), the repairing of the historic boundary walls, and the design and fitting of the gateway entry to the Garden.
The hard landscaping involved the laying out of the flower beds, the paving and gravel paths and the installing the centrepiece - an old millstone from Hockey's Mill. The creation of the planting scheme was driven by the wish to provide a peaceful and contemplative haven in the middle of Ludlow, one that would provide both beauty and interest throughout the four seasons and would also encourage insect life within its boundaries. And of course the minimisation of future maintenance needs. The completed Garden was opened by Sir Roy Strong in June 2018.
Ludlow Civic Society
51 Julian Road
Ludlow SY8 1HD
Copyright © 2013 www.ludlowcivicsociety.org
Site by Blast design