Scaffolding will need to go up around Ledbury’s iconic Market House as part of urgent works to repair the historic building.

In fact it may need to be put up twice – once to fix crumbling plasterwork, and again to repair the roof.

Plaster fell from the early 17th-century Grade I listed building onto the pavement below in late June, fortunately at a time when no pedestrians were about.

A tender for the repair work from an unnamed company, priced at £5,800, was backed by a meeting of the town council’s finance, policy and general purposes committee on 27 July, and is expected to involve a free-standing scaffolding tower.


At the same meeting, a tender for repairs to the roof, again from an unnamed company and priced at £33,065 including £13,168 for scaffolding, was also backed but must await approval at a full council meeting tomorrow (Thursday August 3).

“It may be that we can get the two jobs to coincide, but as the work is likely to be carried out by two different contractors it may not be possible,” the town council’s clerk Angela Price said.

Coun Tony Bradford, who chairs the committee, added: “It’s an iconic building and this urgent work has to be done.


“We have a budget line for the listed buildings we have to maintain. I can't see full council saying no.”

Also known as the Town Hall, the elevated building previously housed council meetings, he pointed out. “But now it is rarely used as it has no disability access, something I am campaigning to put right.

“You can't just put a lift in an ancient building. But we’re looking at putting in a lightweight stairlift. If we're spending all this money on it, it has to be usable.”

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However a recent report by the deputy town clerk pointed out that this would have to overcome problems of a wrought-iron gate which divides the wooden staircase, and also the lack of space to park a stairlift when not in use without creating an obstacle.

Meanwhile an extraordinary town council meeting at the Burgage Hall this evening will consider whether to co-opt four new councillors, after only 10 candidates stood for the 18 town council places at May’s local elections.

The four are Julian I’Anson and Stephen Furlonger (for North ward) and John Newsham and Donald McAll (West ward).