ILAM - 31/08/03 & 30/07/06

We visit the National Trust's Ilam Park and Ilam Village today. Ilam is located five miles north west of Ashbourne in Derbyshire, we reach the Village off the A52 Leek to Ashbourne Road. The weather is bright at first, turning cloudy, the temperature is approximately a chilly 18˚C. Car parking is on the pay and display  National Trust Car Park (free to NT members) at Ilam Park.

Unfortunately there is no public access to Ilam Hall itself as it is in use as a Youth Hostel. The Hall was once home to the Hanbury family, but as much as three quarters of the building was demolished after it was sold to a demolition contractor, by a Mr Backhouse who briefly ran it as a restaurant, until going bankrupt. The park lies on the Banks of the River Manifold, shown in the centre and right photos above. There are National Trust facilities here despite no access to the Hall, including a tea room and shop, and today there was a small exhibition of photographs and paintings.
We follow a short walking route as featured on a free leaflet that we obtained at the National Trust shop. The circular walk lasts about half an hour and is fairly flat, taking you alongside the river, past The Battlehouse, (as right photo, believed to be the shaft of a Saxon cross) the 'Boil Holes' where the River Manifold re-emerges after going underground for six miles and along 'Paradise Walk'. The photos on the left and centre show the Church of the Holy Cross originally built in the thirteenth century, but altered significantly since.
Left and centre photos show more views of Ilam Hall as we head towards the village of Ilam itself, shown in the photo of the right featuring the village school. The village as it is today was built in the 19th Century in a Swiss style by the industrialist, Jesse Watts Russell after the area reminded him of the Alps.
Centre photo shows a memorial cross that dominates the centre of the village, it was erected by Jesse Watts-Russell in 1840 to commemorate his wife, Mary. The photo on the right shows Thorpe Cloud looking towards Dovedale.


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Images Copyright Nicky Griffiths 2003-