- Ilam Park
Ilam Park is a 158-acre
country parksituated in Ilam, on both banks of the River Manifoldfive miles north west of Ashbourne, England, and in the ownership of the National Trust. The property is managed as part of the Trust's South Peak Estate.
(It should be noted that Ashbourne, the 'post town', is in
Derbyshireand thus so is Ilam's postal address, but the Park, and Ilam, are in Staffordshire; the county boundary being the River Dove).
The property consists of Ilam Hall and remnants of its gardens, an ancient semi-natural
woodland— Hinkley Wood — designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest(SSSI), noted for its small-leaved and large-leaved limes and their hybrids.
The estate was owned from the 16th century, for over 250 years. by the Port family. It was sold to David Pike Watts in 1809. On his death in 1816 the old hall was inherited by his daughter who had married Jesse Russell who as Jesse Watts-Russell (
High Sheriff of Staffordshirein 1819) commissioned James Trubshawto build a new Hall to designs by John Shaw. The Hall, now a Grade II* listed building, was built between 1821 and 1826 [ [http://www.imagesofengland.org.uk/details/default.aspx?id=274478 Ilam Hall and Gardener's Cottage] (accessed 17 October 2007)]
By the early 1930s it had been sold for demolition. The demolition was well advanced when Sir
Robert McDougalbought it for the Trust, on the understanding that the remaining parts (viz:- the entrance porch and hall, the Great Hall and the service wing) be used as an International Youth Hostel. Today Ilam Hall is leased to the Youth Hostels Association(YHA).
* "A Guide to Staffordshire and the Black Country" (2004) Michael Raven p 182 (Google Books)
* [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-vh/w-visits/w-findaplace/w-ilampark/ Ilam Park information at the National Trust]
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