Ilam Staffordshire Family History Guide

Ilam is an Ancient Parish in the county of Staffordshire.

Other places in the parish include: Castern, Throwley, Rushley, and Caston.

Parish church: Holy Cross

Parish registers begin: 1651

Nonconformists include:

Parishes adjacent to Ilam

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

ILAM, a village and a parish in the district of Ashborne and county of Stafford. The village stands in a picturesque vale, under the high limestone ridge of Bunster, near the source of the rivers Hamps and Manifold, 1 mile W of the foot of Thorpe Cloud and the entrance of Dovedale, and 5 NNW of Ashborne; is a place of remarkable beauty; contains a highly decorated hexagonal cross, erected in 1840 to the memory. of Mrs. Mary Watts Russell; and has a post office under Ashborne. The parish contains also the hamlets of Castern, Throwley, and Rushley. Acres, 2,939. Real property, £2,316. Pop., 243. Houses, 41. The property is divided among a few. Ilam Hall is the seat of J. W. Russell, Esq.; was erected in 1823, on the site of an old mansion; is a noble edifice in the Tudor style; and contains a highly interesting collection of arms and pictures. The park around the mansion, or rather the entire vale of Ilam, abounds in beauty and romance; forms a great attraction to tourists through Derbyshire; and is said to have been Dr. Johnson's model of the 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. Value, £410. Patron, J. W. Russell, Esq. The church was beautifully restored in 1856; 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 highly artistic monument, with group of statuary, by Chantrey, to the memory of D. P. Watts. There is an endowed school, with picturesque schoolhouse.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland 1833

ILAM, co. Stafford.
P. T. Ashborne (139) 3½ m. NW. Pop. with Trowley and Casterton, 253.
A parish in the north division of the hundred of Totmonslow, situated in one of the most romantic spots in the country; the rivers Hamps and Manyfold rise from some limestone rocks in this parish, under which they run in separate streams for several miles. The living is a vicarage in the archdeaconry of Stafford and diocese of Lichfield and Coventry; valued in K.B. 6l. 13s. 4d.; patron (1829) J. Wotts Russell, Esq. In the church, ded. to Holy Cross, St. Bertram is recorded to have performed many miracles.
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. II; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833.

Parish Records

FamilySearch Historical Records


Historical Maps


  • County: Staffordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Ashbourne
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Lichfield
  • Rural Deanery: Alstonfield
  • Poor Law Union: Ashbourne
  • Hundred: North Totmonslow
  • Province: Canterbury