The Conservation Trust for St Laurence Ludlow and its fund-raising arm — the Ludlow Palmers — is a secular charity formed to support the repair and conservation of the fabric and historical treasures of the mediaeval church of St Laurence's. St Laurence's has aptly been called ‘the Cathedral of the Marches.’ It is the largest parish church in Shropshire and the twelfth largest in England.
The present-day Ludlow Palmers take their name from the mediaeval guild that was instrumental in the creation of the beautiful building we have today. For nearly 300 years, until the Guild's suppression by Edward VI, the Palmers provided St Laurence’s with financial resources to maintain and enhance the church, as well as enrich Ludlow town life through music and education. The magnificent building, beautiful ceilings, rare medieval stained-glass windows, and historic misericords are a few of the Ludlow Palmers Guild's legacies to Ludlow and the nation.
Founded in 2006, today's Conservation Trust continues this work with the help of residents and visitors to Ludlow. As an independent secular body with no religious affiliation the Palmers are focussed on the history and treasures of this wonderful building for the benefit of all.
Works funded by the Trust have included conservation of paintings. monuments, carved woodwork and stained glass. Recent projects have included emergency repairs to window mouldings and the roof. As well as continuing to support the ancient fabric of the church with funds for emergency repairs, our current focus is on protecting and restoring the stained glass windows. Several date back to the 15th century and although considerable restoration was carried out in Victorian times they are now in urgent need of further work . A particular focus is the Ten Commandments window. This depicts six of the ten commandments, showing sinners being caught in the act - it being difficult to depict somebody not committing something. The window was restored in 1854, at which time the 15th century glass as we see it today was in place. However, it is not thought to be in its original location as in 1684 a reliable source places another window here, and, as four of the commandments are now missing, it seems likely that they were lost when the survivors were moved. The window is now under severe threat from deteriorating stonework and adverse weather.