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Hereford Medieval City Walls Left To Ruin

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#1 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

Why are our beautiful Medieval City Walls being left to ruin?

 

I have mentioned this in the recent topic about a number of increased weeds in our city but I do think this justifies a unique topic.

 

Just look at the weeds growing from the top of this section along Gunners Lane.

 

Hereford City Walls.jpg

 

Hereford Voice is highlighting just how bad this has become in an attempt to provoke some action and possible restoration from the Council. Hopefully, we can encourage them to put a maintenance plan in place going forward. The Herefordshire County Council need to look at having the weeds removed and also look at cleaning and repairing any unstable sections of the City Walls.

 

The survival of our Medieval City Walls is very important, this is our heritage and therefore should be protected for future generations to come, after all this site is a scheduled monument protected by law.  

 

There was a study of Hereford's City Walls back in September 2011 details here and details about the Area of Archaeological Importance (AAI) can be found here

 

A map of Hereford Area of Archaeological Importance, Hereford city wall conservation management plan documents and archaeology supplementary planning guidance can be found here and here


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#2 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

Additional photographs;

 

I found this very old photograph online of Gunners Lane 

Gunners Lane Hereford.jpg

circa 1926

 

Hereford City Walls Gunners Lane.jpg

Gunners Lane 19th August 2017

 

Hereford City Walls Bath Street.jpg  

Hereford City Walls Bath Street. (there is a Medieval City Wall hidden under all this greenery)

 

Hereford City Walls Greyfriars Avenue.jpg

Bottom section of the City Walls near to Wye Terrace, bushes are quite overgrown here.

 

Hereford City Walls Greyfriars Avenue 1 .jpg

A new wall has possibly recently been erected or it could have just been re-pointed, on top of the existing Medieval City Wall, as you can see from where the cones are located.

 

Hereford City Walls Greyfriars Avenue 2.jpg

Greyfriars Avenue (at the back of the surgery) also forms part of Wye Terrace

 

Hereford City Walls Greyfriars Avenue Bastion.jpg

Location of Bastion at the back of Greyfriars surgery (Wye Terrace)

 

Hereford City Walls Blueschool Street.jpg

Hereford City Walls Blueschool Street (This is the slip road which runs along Maylord Orchards). This section of the City Wall is completely covered in greenery and hidden from view.

 

Hereford City Walls Blueschool Street 1.jpg

Hereford City Walls Blueschool Street from the main road, you can see that most of the wall is hidden with greenery. 


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#3 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

Some interesting information on the history of the city defences etc.

 

About the mid C9 the main part of the town was enclosed with a bank and ditch. The defences were completely rebuilt in earth and timber towards the end of the century and extended. The earth and timber defences were later rebuilt in stone, probably between 901-40. Following the Norman Conquest a new town with a vast market place was laid out to the north of the Saxon burh, but it was not until 1189 that the town was granted its first charter and empowered to fortify the town. The new defensive works included a substantial extension to the north. Originally six gates, sixteen round towers. Remains fragmentary, but including two large towers. Murage grants almost continuous from 1224 until late C15.
 
Watkins (1920 but taken from the CBA RR 46 journal) gathered together the results of many years observations and established a three stage sequence of development for the defences. It provides the framework for modern archaeological research. Watkins considered the first phase consisted of a rectangular ditch, the south boundary being the river Wye, surrounding the cathedral called the King's Ditch. The second phase was an eastern and western extension to King's Ditch thought by Watkins to be the work of Harold, AD 1055. These were the Saxon defences. The third phase was the construction of the city wall in AD 1264 to take in a larger area to the north and south with the construction of Rowe Ditch. Whitehead (1982) in the same volume looking at the documentary evidence considers it almost certain that Hereford had defences before AD 896 and that Hereford was an important town by 930. There is reference to a ditch built by Earl Harold against the threat of Gruffydd ap Llewelyn referred to by Watkins above, but Whitehead considers it was more a renovation, not new works. In the 13th century documentary sources indicate the defences were in decay and that residents outside the walls had gradually gained the privileges of the town
 
Whitehead considers the defences were extended and rebuilt in the mid to late 12th century, partly as a response to renewed threat from the Welsh (specifically Rhys ap Gruffydd). (Herefordshire SMR)
 

 

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law
 

 


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#4 ragwert

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Posted 19 August 2017

Look more like trees Colin


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#5 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

Look more like trees Colin

 

It is a disgrace ragwert, I am going to take a walk downtown and take a few more photographs shortly. I have had a chat with a City Councillor about this, so watch this space. 


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#6 Paul Jones

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Posted 19 August 2017

Just learned some interesting things reading this Colin. The city walls are covered with weeds and bushes and the county council should be ashamed! Good luck with your campaign, be good to see the walls cleaned and all the weeds and plants removed.


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#7 Denise Lloyd

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Posted 19 August 2017

Just a little reminder of who is who in Hereford City Council.  HCC receive a fairly hefty precept each year. 

 

 

Councillors and Officers

 Councillors are elected every four years for each of the sixteen wards within the City of Hereford.

The contact details for your Ward Councillor are listed below.

 

AYLESTONE HILL WARD Cllr MARCELLE LLOYD-HAYES

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 274 289

Community Development Committee, Governance and Procedures Committee,

Planning and Highways Committee, Municipal Charities, Three Choirs Festival,

Hereford City Tourism Group, New Hereford University Working Group.

BOBBLESTOCK WARD Cllr CHARLES NICHOLLS

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 274 508/07780 009 151

Governance and Procedures Committee, Planning and Highways Committee,

Community Development Committee, Herefordshire Market Towns Forum, HALC Executive Committee, SAM, Three Choirs Festival.

CENTRAL WARD Cllr LEN TAWN

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 357 737/07585 800 305

Governance and Procedures CommitteeFinance and Policy Committee, Close House , The BID group.

COLLEGE WARD Cllr BRIAN WILCOX

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 267 899

Finance and Policy CommitteeGovernance and Procedures Committee,

Herefordshire Market Towns Forum.

EIGN HILL WARD Cllr JIM KENYON

E: [email protected]

T: 07711 316 013

GREYFRIARS WARD Cllr SHARON MICHAEL

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 279 513

Community Development Committee, Governance and Procedures Committee,

Planning and Highways Committee, Finance and Policy Committee, Hereford in Bloom.

HINTON & HUNDERTON WARD Cllr CHRIS CHAPPELL

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 355 224

Governance and Procedures Committee, Planning and Highways Committee.

Cllr LAURA HALL

E: [email protected]

T:  07493 036 635

Community Development Committee, Governance and Procedures Committee, City of Culture Board.

KINGS ACRE WARD Cllr MARK MANSELL

E: [email protected]

T: 07543 901 250

Community Development Committee, Governance and Procedures Committee,

Planning and Highways Committee.

NEWTON FARM WARD Cllr PHIL EDWARDS

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 350 688

Community Development Committee, Finance and Policy Committee.

Cllr MARK DYKES

E: [email protected]

T: 07801 721 723

Planning and Highways Committee, Finance and Policy Committee.

RACECOURSE WARD Cllr MATTHEW BUSHKES

E: [email protected]

T: 07799 662 266

RED HILL WARD Cllr PAUL RONE

E: [email protected]

T: 07768 171 328

Community Development Committee, Finance and Policy Committee.

SAXON GATE WARD Cllr DAVID GRIFFITHS

E: [email protected]

T: 07969 885 398

Planning and Highways Committee, Finance and Policy Committee, HALC Executive Committee, SAM.

TUPSLEY WARD Cllr KATH HEY

E: [email protected]

T:07885 672030

Community Development Committee, Planning and Highways Committee, Municipal Charities.

VICTORIA PARK WARD Cllr MARTIN BAKER

E: [email protected]

Community Development Committee, Municipal Charities, Hereford City Tourism Group.

WHITECROSS WARD Cllr SUSAN BOULTER

E: [email protected]

T: 01432 268 222/ 07903 218 641

Community Development Committee, Governance and Procedures Committee,

Planning and Highways Committee, Finance and Policy Committee,Municipal Charities.

WIDEMARSH WARD Cllr PAUL STEVENS

E: [email protected]

T: 07941 027 134

Finance and Policy Committee,

The Enterprise Zone Stakeholder Group.


 

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#8 Colin James

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Posted 19 August 2017

 

Just a little reminder of who is who in Hereford City Council.  HCC receive a fairly hefty precept each year. 

 

Thank you, but I already have all of these details Denise and I have already had discussions with a City Councillor about this, see my first post. 


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#9 K.Butt

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Posted 20 August 2017

Some good photographs here, just goes to show how neglected the city walls have become 


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#10 twowheelsgood

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Posted 20 August 2017

It's not only weeds that are causing damage - this section in Gaol Street is gradually being demolished by idiot drivers. I've flagged incidents of damage in the past to the Council but nothing is done (save for displaced lumps of ancient stone just being taken away and never seen again).

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#11 George Armstrong

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Posted 20 August 2017

Ah - Gaol Street - Hereford's one time red light district that used to rejoice in its original name of Grope Lane. The highminded Victorians renamed most of the UK's Grope Lanes, and now only Shrewsbury retains their's.
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#12 K.Butt

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Posted 20 August 2017

Ah - Gaol Street - Hereford's one time red light district that used to rejoice in its original name of Grope Lane. The highminded Victorians renamed most of the UK's Grope Lanes, and now only Shrewsbury retains their's.

 

Yes what a great name, they should of kept it lol 


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#13 George Armstrong

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Posted 20 August 2017

Yep - I've groped my way back along there on more than one occasion following a night out in the Barrels. That Butty Bach creeps up on you, doesn't it?
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#14 twowheelsgood

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Posted 20 August 2017

In September 2011, Herefordshire Council published the hugely impressive and comprehensive 'Hereford City Defences - a conservation management plan’. Download all three parts from here

www.herefordshire.gov.uk/downloads/download/53/archaeology_and_the_historic_environment_record

 

The study concluded in part;

 
A recent characterisation study of its historic townscape concluded that Hereford is – measurably and objectively – one of the best-preserved major historic cities anywhere in England, with only one minor street added within the walls since the Middle Ages (Herefordshire Archaeology report 266, 2010).
 
The city walls are an integral part of that historic townscape and any enhancement of them will add materially to the historic character of the city as a whole.
 
A number of simple measures are outlined in this plan to do just that, without the necessity for any capital-intensive programmes of works. Properly maintained, made more accessible, displayed and interpreted within an improved setting and properly promoted, the city walls can play a leading role in a broader campaign of heritage-led regeneration.
 
Immediate priorities for the period 2011-2014:
 
These are essentially either urgent actions to address specific issues, or are actions that should serve to focus activity in subsequent years.
 
•   Establish a permanent programme for routine maintenance
 
•   Undertake a review of the spatial scope of current statutory designation provision and in particular the extent of scheduling
 
•   Resolve issues concerning the interface between the planned Retail Quarter and the city walls (policy proposal 1.3, above
 
•   Continue remedial work (1) on recent vegetation re-growth and (2), on failed structural elements and unstable masonry in the Greyfriars Surgery/Black Lion area (see 2.4 and 2.5, above)
 
•   Develop and carry out a project to better record and understand, and restore one or both surviving bastions and improve public access and information (see 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, above)
 
•   Develop an interpretation strategy, linked to other city-centre initiatives, for example streetscape re-design and enhancement
 
•   Develop a floodlighting and display strategy to improve the setting of the walls and their display
 
•   Encourage other bodies to bring develop proposals for the enhancement of the monuments. At the time of writing (September 2011) Hereford Civic Society is developing a strategy to distinguish the developmental priorities for the period 2012-2026.
 
I think it is fair to say that none of the immediate priorities have been implemented 5 years after they were highlighted.
 
Why oh why do we have such a lamentable Council?

Edited by twowheelsgood, 20 August 2017 .

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#15 K.Butt

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Posted 21 August 2017

 

In September 2011, Herefordshire Council published the hugely impressive and comprehensive 'Hereford City Defences - a conservation management plan’. Download all three parts from here

www.herefordshire.gov.uk/downloads/download/53/archaeology_and_the_historic_environment_record

 

The study concluded in part;

 
A recent characterisation study of its historic townscape concluded that Hereford is – measurably and objectively – one of the best-preserved major historic cities anywhere in England, with only one minor street added within the walls since the Middle Ages (Herefordshire Archaeology report 266, 2010).
 
The city walls are an integral part of that historic townscape and any enhancement of them will add materially to the historic character of the city as a whole.
 
A number of simple measures are outlined in this plan to do just that, without the necessity for any capital-intensive programmes of works. Properly maintained, made more accessible, displayed and interpreted within an improved setting and properly promoted, the city walls can play a leading role in a broader campaign of heritage-led regeneration.
 
Immediate priorities for the period 2011-2014:
 
These are essentially either urgent actions to address specific issues, or are actions that should serve to focus activity in subsequent years.
 
•   Establish a permanent programme for routine maintenance
 
•   Undertake a review of the spatial scope of current statutory designation provision and in particular the extent of scheduling
 
•   Resolve issues concerning the interface between the planned Retail Quarter and the city walls (policy proposal 1.3, above
 
•   Continue remedial work (1) on recent vegetation re-growth and (2), on failed structural elements and unstable masonry in the Greyfriars Surgery/Black Lion area (see 2.4 and 2.5, above)
 
•   Develop and carry out a project to better record and understand, and restore one or both surviving bastions and improve public access and information (see 4.1, 5.1, 6.1, above)
 
•   Develop an interpretation strategy, linked to other city-centre initiatives, for example streetscape re-design and enhancement
 
•   Develop a floodlighting and display strategy to improve the setting of the walls and their display
 
•   Encourage other bodies to bring develop proposals for the enhancement of the monuments. At the time of writing (September 2011) Hereford Civic Society is developing a strategy to distinguish the developmental priorities for the period 2012-2026.
 
I think it is fair to say that none of the immediate priorities have been implemented 5 years after they were highlighted.
 
Why oh why do we have such a lamentable Council?

 

Good information but all of this is in the first post I think, still nothing wrong with posting it again to make sure :) 


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#16 Bill Thomas

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Posted 21 August 2017

It's not only weeds that are causing damage - this section in Gaol Street is gradually being demolished by idiot drivers. I've flagged incidents of damage in the past to the Council but nothing is done (save for displaced lumps of ancient stone just being taken away and never seen again).

 

A small wall protection barrier would have done the trick. 


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#17 Bill Thomas

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Posted 21 August 2017

The city walls have been neglected for far too long which has been highlighted in these photographs they need a good clean and weeds and bushes removed to expose these once again.


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#18 Denise Lloyd

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Posted 21 August 2017

Colin the little reminder of the City Councillors was a reminder to one and all.  Now I might be classed as a little controversial but I have to ask the question.  Why are these councillors (some of them fairly well known) and Hereford BID not picking up on the state of the city?   The City Walls the Duck Pond and Greenway cycle bridge - all issues that have been raised on these pages and other groups.  Why is HCC not taking the initiative and raising these matters?     


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#19 twowheelsgood

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Posted 21 August 2017

Good information but all of this is in the first post I think, still nothing wrong with posting it again to make sure :) 

 

I was pointing out that none of the immediate priorities had been addressed six years (not five as I previously said) after they had been identified and put in the public domain. One of the best-preserved major historic cities anywhere in England deserves to be properly managed.


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#20 Colin James

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Posted 21 August 2017

I was pointing out that none of the immediate priorities had been addressed six years (not five as I previously said) after they had been identified and put in the public domain. One of the best-preserved major historic cities anywhere in England deserves to be properly managed.

 

I agree with you and I think a maintenance plan should have been in place a long time ago, this is something I am working to see if we can get in place going forward but before anything is set up, some immediate maintenance work is obviously required, ie weeds, cleaning and repairing.


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#21 Colin James

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Posted 21 August 2017

Colin the little reminder of the City Councillors was a reminder to one and all.  Now I might be classed as a little controversial but I have to ask the question.  Why are these councillors (some of them fairly well known) and Hereford BID not picking up on the state of the city?   The City Walls the Duck Pond and Greenway cycle bridge - all issues that have been raised on these pages and other groups.  Why is HCC not taking the initiative and raising these matters?     

 

All good questions Denise and I have raised this with a City Councillor already and they are looking at this now.


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#22 Maggie May

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Posted 21 August 2017

Colin I am sure there are many like me who really appreciate you highlighting and trying to so something about the neglect of our City Walls . I have often enjoyed visiting Chester (I know their walls are still substantial) and the City walls not only give the City a sense of place and its history, but really attract tourists. Anyone visiting Hereford would have no knowledge that we have City Walls. I'm sure Councillor Johnson and others on Herefordshire Council have little knowledge of Hereford and most probably don't even know that the walls exist.

 

Ref that section of Gaol St I dont know why cars are permitted along it. I think it would make a nice safe cycling and pedestrian route, and this would help keep safe those who have imbibed rather too much in The Barrells and risk falling in front of a car!


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#23 herefordman75

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Posted 22 August 2017

They really don't have a clue do they at whichever office they are residing in this year. Why not make a feature of it? Clean it up, run guided walks along it, taking in the cathedral, duck pond, black and white house etc, nice little money earner if they are sensible with the charges, say £5 per head (obviously concessions as well).

 

It really is depressing seeing the city go down hill the way that it is.

 

When are you running for a council position Colin? You care more about the city than any of the over paid bods in Plough Lane


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#24 Colin James

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Posted 22 August 2017

They really don't have a clue do they at whichever office they are residing in this year. Why not make a feature of it? Clean it up, run guided walks along it, taking in the cathedral, duck pond, black and white house etc, nice little money earner if they are sensible with the charges, say £5 per head (obviously concessions as well).

 

It really is depressing seeing the city go down hill the way that it is.

 

When are you running for a council position Colin? You care more about the city than any of the over paid bods in Plough Lane

 

Thank you for your kind words. I have been asked several times to become a Councillor. This is something I would like to do but right now I really do not have the time with my work commitments but it is something I will be looking at in the future. :Grin:  I will keep the buggers on their toes! 


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#25 megilleland

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Posted 30 August 2017

The Hereford Civic Society have this lecture coming up soon.

city walls.jpg


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#26 Colin James

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Posted 01 September 2017

The Hereford Civic Society have this lecture coming up soon.

attachicon.gifcity walls.jpg

 This is good, is this as a result of our article? 


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#27 megilleland

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Posted 01 September 2017

 This is good, is this as a result of our article? 

 

The talk was booked sometime ago as part of the HCS ongoing programme. However members of the HCS noted your topic on Hereford Voice and thought it a good idea for me to post the details of the talk to attract those interested to hear Derek Foxton.


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#28 Colin James

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Posted 01 September 2017

The talk was booked sometime ago as part of the HCS ongoing programme. However members of the HCS noted your topic on Hereford Voice and thought it a good idea for me to post the details of the talk to attract those interested to hear Derek Foxton.

 

Cool, I will try and make it.


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#29 ragwert

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Posted 10 October 2017

After a closer look at part of the City wall by Trekkit I am utterly shocked at the state it is in.
Huge cracks have developed from root damage in various parts of the wall.
This needs urgent attention.

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#30 Colin James

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Posted 10 October 2017

After a closer look at part of the City wall by Trekkit I am utterly shocked at the state it is in.
Huge cracks have developed from root damage in various parts of the wall.
This needs urgent attention.

 

This is an absolute disgrace! We should proud of our historic medieval city walls, instead they have been left to decay and fall apart! 


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