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Ilam, Staffordshire

Historical Description

Ilam, a village and a parish in Staffordshire. The village stands in a picturesque vale, under the high limestone ridge of Bnnster, in the valley of the Manifold, 1 mile W of the foot of Thorpe Cloud and the entrance of Dovedale, and 5 miles NNW of Ashborne. It is a place of great beauty, contains a highly-decorated hexagonal cross, erected in 1840 to the memory of Mrs Watts Russell, and has a post office under Ashborne; money order and telegraph office, Fenny Bentley. The civil parish is made up of the townships of Ham, Castern, and Throwley, with the extra-parochial district of Musden. Acreage, 3571; population of the civil parish, 246; of the ecclesiastical, 228. Ham Hall was erected in 1823 on the site of an old mansion, and is a noble edifice in the Tudor style, with a Norman tower. The rivers Hamps and Manifold find an egress from their subterranean course in the Hall grounds. The vale of Ham abounds in beauty and romance, forms a great attraction to tourists through Derbyshire, and is said to have been Dr Johnson's Happy Valley in his " Rasselas." A grotto near the hall, still known as Congreve's Grot, was the place where Congreve wrote his " Old Bachelor," and part of his " Mourning Bride." The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield; net value, £280 with½residence. The church was beautifully restored in 1856 by Sir Gilbert Scott, has a saddleback western tower, and contains an ancient font, S. Bertram's shrine, and other curious monuments. The old church had an ivy-covered tower, and was very picturesque. A small Gothic chapel stands over the burial vault of the Russell family, and contains a monument, with group of statuary, by Chantry.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyStaffordshire 
Ecclesiastical parishIlam Holy Cross 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

Findmypast, in association with the Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archive Service have the Baptisms, Banns, Marriages, and Burials online for Ilam

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Ilam from the following:

Land and Property

A full transcript of the Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Staffordshire is online.


Online maps of Ilam are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Staffordshire newspapers online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

DistrictStaffordshire Moorlands
RegionWest Midlands
Postal districtDE6
Post TownAshbourne