|Ilam lies at the lower end of the River Manifold and is one of the prettiest villages in this area of the Peak, with one of the longest histories. The current village was moved in the 1820s by Jesse Watts-Russell from its position near Ilam Hall and rebuilt in its current location in what Watts-Russell considered to be 'Alpine style'. This explains both the unusual style of the buildings and the surprising distance between them and the village church. The centre of the village is dominated by a memorial cross similar to Charing Cross, erected by Jesse Watts-Russell in 1840 to commemorate his wife, Mary.|
The village was inhabited in Saxon times and the church incorporates some Saxon stonework as well as the tomb of the Saxon saint, Bertram, who lived as a hermit in this area. In 1004 the village was given to Burton on Trent Abbey and a small monastic settlement was established here - after the dissolution of the monasteries this was purchased by the Port family who owned the estate for the next 300 years and established the first Ilam Hall, which was torn down and rebuilt in grand style by Jesse Watts-Russell in the 1820s. The main part of his hall was demolished in the 1930s, but the remaining section is a Youth Hostel and the whole estate now belongs to the National Trust.
At the hall there are tea rooms and a National Trust Information centre, plus a very well-appointed National Trust caravan site.
Three kilometres to the north-west, up the Manifold Valley, lies Throwley Hall, where the ruins of a fine Elizabethan manor house stand next to its less charismatic 18th century replacement. The manor house was built in 1603 for Simon Meverell, a scion of the Meverell family to whom Throwley belonged from 1203 to the mid 17th century. The house passed to Charles Cotton on his marriage to the widow of the last of the Meverells, but was later allowed to go to ruin. What remains is currently being made safe and restored by English Heritage.
Like Castern on the hillside opposite, Throwley was once a small agricultural village but rural depopulation has left just the hall, which is actually a large farm specialising in raising beef cattle.
Ilam Photo Gallery - click on the images to enlarge- Click Here for a slide show
0 - Manifold Valley - dried up river
1 - Ilam - St Bertrand's Bridge
2 - Ilam Hall
3 - Ilam Church - Tomb of St Bertram
4 - Ilam - houses
5 - Ilam - the cross
6 - Ilam Church
7 - Ilam Cross
8 - Ilam Church - the Saxon font
9 - Ilam Church - Pike Watts tomb
10 - Ilam Hall - Saxon cross
11 - Ilam Hall
12 - Dovedale view from Blore Pastures
13 - Manifold Valley from Throwley
14 - Dovedale - Tissington Spires
15 - Blore Church - Bassett tomb
16 - Blore Church
17 - Dovedale - Ilam Rock
18 - Dovedale - Reynards Cave
19 - Throwley Old Hall
20 - Dovedale from below Thorpe Cloud
21 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones
22 - Dovedale - The Stepping Stones on a busy day
23 - Thorpe Cloud - Descending towards Lindale
24 - Thorpe Cloud - The view up Dovedale
25 - Thorpe Cloud from the river Dove
26 - Dovedale - The Twelve Apostles
Local places of interest
Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud
Dovedale is the name given to the section of the Dove valley between Milldale and Thorpe Cloud on the bounday between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Famous for its scenery and fishing.
Ilam Church and Hall
Ilam Church, Staffordshire, is the burial place of St Bertram and a place of pilgrimage. A lovely church with some Saxon parts. Close to Ilam Hall, once home of the Watts Russell and Port families.
Ilam Hall and Park
Ilam Hall is the remains of the hall built by the Watts Russell family in the 1820s, close to Ashbourne. The Hall and Park now belong to the National Trust
Thor's Cave is the most spectacular sight of the Manifold valley, Staffordshire, a large cave with a fine view, which was inhabited in the Stone Age.
Tissington Hall is the 17th century home of the FitzHerbert family in Tissington Village near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Wonderful furniture, paintings and porcelain collection.
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