A barmaid was stunned when her car was crushed when an historic 800-year-old wall collapsed on top of it after it was battered by days of heavy rain and strong winds.
Louise Bradley’s beloved Ford Fiesta was wrecked when tonnes of stone and mortar crashed down onto its boot.
Shocked Louise, 24, returned to where she had parked her car to find the back seat filled with masonry and the rear window smashed.
Shropshire County Council now faces a £250,000 bill to repair the damage to a 30ft section of 13th century wall in Ludlow, Shrops.
No-one was hurt when the wall which rings the city collapsed on a residential street in the early hours of Monday morning.
Several lean-to garages were also damaged as well as the guttering of a nearby electricity substation at the back of the town’s St Laurence’s Church which dates back to Norman times.
Louise, from Ludlow, said: “My friend and I were sat upstairs chatting at about 12.40am and then there was just this massive bang which almost sounded like a gust of wind or something.
“My friend left and obviously passed my car before ringing to say ‘I think you better have a look at this’ so I went outside and the car was just covered in rubble.
“The impact had shunted it forward and I was just in complete shock. We called the police straight away and they were pretty quick to arrive.
“The car was quite old but we were going to be using it to move house so it’s pretty frustrating as it’s a complete write-off now. But we were also pretty lucky we weren’t using it at the time.
“There’s cracking all the way along the wall and the worry is now that more of it will collapse. It looks as if it could go.”
Louise’s neighbour Masilo Mapota, 22, was on his way home from work when he saw the debris.
He said: “I didn’t realise what had happened at first because it was so dark but when I shone my phone light around I realised the wall had just caved in and I phoned Louise straight away.
“It is lucky I didn’t drive to work that night as I usually park next to her.”
Council bosses are now worried about further stretches of the wall giving way, with the recent wet and icy conditions being blamed.
Cllr Rosanna Taylor-Smith said: “Whilst repairs are carried out I hope we can keep access open to the Garden of Rest for all to enjoy, as it is one of the most popular green areas of Ludlow.”
Richard Ewels, for West Mercia Police, said: “Officers attended and contacted Shropshire Council to arrange for the wall to be shored up and for a structural engineer to attend and make an urgent inspection.”
Ludlow town walls are one of the most complete ancient perimeter defences of any historic town in England and attract thousands of visitors each year.
But fears for their survival have increased in recent years following a series of collapses, with repair costs approaching £1million which have been funded by lottery grants, English Heritage and the council.