Community & Events

+Even though Ilam is a tiny village with only or so inhabitants on the electoral role, it has a thriving community.

Please click on the links or scroll down to see what happens in Ilam.
Detail from the 12th panel of The Ilam Story
In the heart of Ilam is the village School. Children attend from the surrounding rural areas and villages.
Head Teacher Carol Gunn
+ (0)1335 350316
For further information and the latest news see:
The Ilam School Association
Click to read about the history of Ilam School.
Ilam School
Built in 1854 and set at the southern tip of the Peak District, just in Staffordshire, Ilam School offers a very special combination of all the benefits of a small village school, together with the advantages that a developing educational system of today can offer through the National Curriculum, set within the school's own broad and balanced curriculum.

Ilam School is a focal point of the village and fosters a caring, family atmosphere, where each individual child is valued and appreciated. There is an emphasis on Christian teaching and moral standards, which encourages good behaviour, self-discipline and respect for each other. The pastoral care of the children is of a very high standard as staff and children get to know each other very easily.

A growing community
The rapid growth of the school in recent years has meant the introduction of an admissions policy which admits up to 10 children per year. Academic standards are high and llam children are noted as diligent, enthusiastic students at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Ashbourne, to where most of them transfer at the age of 11 years. Children are also offered places at Churnet Valley Middle School in Leek.

The school now has 28 computers,4 interactive white boards video-conferencing equipment and is well resourced with digital voice recorders and cameras. Ilam School offers a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum with an emphasis on the enjoyment of learning. There are opportunities to join with other children within the cluster during residential field trips, sport and ict activities.

Governors, parents and staff work in close co-operation to ensure that the standards and ethos of llam School continue to develop and grow, and we greatly appreciate the support so willingly given by parents and friends of the school. In particular, the school receives tremendous support from the Ilam School Association in respect of equipment, visits and general encouragement.

We keep the Church open during daylight hours and everyone is welcome to come in to explore and pray. It is kept open in a spirit of trust and is maintained wholly by local volunteers.
Vicar: John Austerberry

Church Warden: Ian Smith
+44 (0)1335 350236
Church Warden: Ellen Clewes
+44 (0)1335 350437
Currently there are two services held in Ilam Church each month.
2nd Sunday of the month at 10.30 a.m.
All Age Worship
4th Sunday of the month at 10.30 a.m.
Holy Communion

Learn more about the building here
1. Jesus is Condemned to Death 
 3. Jesus Falls for the First Time
6. Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus
9. Jesus Falls for the Third Time 
 12. Jesus Dies on the Cross
The Church
Nestling in the grounds of Ilam Hall, frequently surrounded by sheep, our stunning Church is named to remind us of the focus of our faith, The Holy Cross. There has been a Church on the site since Christianity came to this area. The font is 12th Century and workmanship from other eras is retained in the 19th century restoration by Sir Gilbert Scott. Follow the link for a detailed description of the archaeology. There are lots of interesting things to see, and a guide is available in the Church to help you explore.
The Worshipping Community
You will have got a feel of our small, buzzing community as you read this website. The Church is very much an integral part of all that goes on in the village. If you were to join us to worship you will always find a welcome that is spiritually warm, even though currently we dont have heating and you will need to wrap up well, especially in winter months. (To come, details of our project to install eco friendly heating). After the services we have tea and coffee, and often home~made biscuits or cake as we stay on to chat.
The school regularly uses the building and worships with us at key times. The building is also used for art exhibitions and the occasional concert.
Ilam is part of the Benefice of Alstonefield and on Sundays services happen around the six Churches: Alstonefield, Butterton, Elkstones, Ilam, Warslow and Wetton.

We keep our services simple and accessible, using Common Worship creatively. Children are always welcome and encouraged to worship alongside us, although there is no Sunday School. In our monthly Communion service we usually use fresh home~baked bread. And we have an open table policy ~ everyone is welcome to join us to receive the bread and wine as a sign of Christs sacrificial love offered to us and among us.
At Christmas, Harvest and Holy Week and Easter we run a programme of services across the Benefice. Ilam plays a full part with a Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday and often hosting other creative services, for instance, on Good Friday a procession with a cross from Dovedale House up to the top of Thorpe Cloud.
Any enquiries, please contact a Church Warden.
The Ilam Passion, an Exhibition from Limestone to Lego
The Stations of the Cross by 13 local artists.
In the Church of the Holy Cross, Ilam from 12 noon Sunday 9th April until Sunday 30th April 2017, open daily 10 am to 7pm.
The Stations of the Cross tell the story of the execution and death of Jesus in a traditional sequence taken from the accounts of the Gospels. In the Ilam Passion 13 local artists have each responded to the theme of a Station and to the setting of Ilam Church to create a unique collaborative interpretation of the story of the Passion.

The Artists: Ann Sutton, Gill Simpson, Terry Prince, Margaret Sharples, Sue Prince, Jean Wayne, Ellen Clewes, Rob Gray, Alex Gray, Cathy Rowlinson, Ruth Watson, Joan Wain and Sheila Warrington.

 4. Jesus Meets his Sorrowful Mother

 7. Jesus Falls a Second Time
10. Jesus is Stripped of his Garments 
13. Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

2. Jesus Takes up his Cross
5. Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus Carry the Cross
8. Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem
11. Jesus is Nailed to the Cross
14 Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

A residential youth centre belonging to the Diocese of Lichfield in the heart of the village of Ilam.
Contact: Dovedale House, Ilam, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AZ
+44 (0) 1335 350365
Dovedale House 

Dovedale House is a residential youth centre belonging to the Diocese of Lichfield; it does however in a very real sense belong to the community too. Playing host to numerous local events is just part of that role which also includes the lending of equipment and even staff to help out, with team members being involved in every aspect of village life. Ilam School regularly use rooms for dance lessons, visiting theatre groups and their Christmas party and the village harvest supper is prepared and shared here. 

A Community Centre 

The real "biggie is the annual Dovedale Fete, taking over the entire site as we welcome huge crowds to enjoy a great day out amidst stunning scenery, and raise much needed funds in the process. Being a Registered Charity that aims to enable everyone to come and stay, and even offering bursaries to some of our young guests, we inevitably find ourselves financially challenged! The Fete is thus an important fund-raiser and we are delighted that the whole community comes out on the day to offer help and support. 

A Christian Centre

As a Christian Centre Dovedale House is most definitely "open to all and is at the very heart of much of the worship that takes place in Ilam. We host the Good Friday walk and Sonrise Easter day service, winter services when the church is just too cold, and special outdoor events for visiting groups (which even include baptisms in the icy waters of the River Manifold!).

Dovedale House is extremely grateful for the local support it receives and is always open to offer hospitality and resources for organisations, families and individuals from Ilam and its neighbouring villages.


You can stay in an 18th Century Gothic Mansion set in 85 acres of National Trust Parkland.
For more information enquiries and bookings call 0845 371 9023, visit or call into reception.

YHA Ilam underwent an extensive £2 million refurbishment programme over winter 2008/2009 and now offers an excellent standard of accommodation for families, individuals and school groups.
The majority of bedrooms offer ensuite accommodation with a mixture of double, four and six bedded rooms. There are two ground floor bedrooms with ensuite disabled facilities.

Food and Drink

Our restaurant serves great tasting dishes at affordable prices, produce is sourced locally from Staffordshire and the Derbyshire Dales.
Quality wines, draught , bottle beers and soft drinks are served from our well stocked bar.
The bar is open to non-residents.
Great for kids
During school holidays we run fun afternoon and evening family activities.
Free activities for a family who eats with us in the restaurant.

School Groups, Private Functions and Conferencing

School groups can look forward to a safe educational environment, with three secure zones enabling different groups to stay at the same time.
YHA Ilam offers a wide range of both educational and fun activities delivered by our trained activity staff. Available for residential and non-residential groups. Enquire at reception for more information.
YHA Ilam is and excellent venue for hosting a wide range of events from Wedding Receptions and Birthday parties to Business Meetings and Conferences.
The Hall boasts a large function room capable of seating 100 people with excellent views across Ilam Park and the surrounding area.
There is also a smaller classroom which can seat upto thirty people which is ideal for small residential and non residential groups.
We offer a wide range of catering packages to suit every occasion whether it be a wedding reception or a small business meeting.

Ilam Parish Council
Chairwoman: Caroline Sellers
+44 (0)1335 350368
Clerk: Paul R Watson
+44 (0)1335 310321

The Council meets six times per year. The meetings in 2018 are:
  • 15 January
  • 12March
  • 14 May (AGM)
  • 09 July
  • 10 September
  • 12 November
  • Caroline Sellers (Chairwoman)
  • Carolyn Hibbert-Foy
  • Richard Wain
  • Vera Nottage
  • Nigel Taylor
  • Lindsay Oulsnam
  • Keith Warrington
The information required under the Smaller Authorities (transparency Requirements) (England) Regulations 2015/494 is available by clicking on the Parish Council link at the top of the page.

Ilam Art Club is a friendly group meeting in the National Trust Learning Centre at Ilam Hall (by kind permission of the National Trust South Peak Estate). They meet on Thursday evenings 7pm til 9pm.
Contact secretary:
Cathy Rowlinson +44(0)1538 308223
The Ilam Story, (the 18m folk art painting) is in secure storage and a durable copy is being prepared for seasonal display in the Church from Easter until Harvest Festival.
Ilam Art Club
Ilam Art Club started in September 2001 because a group of local people wanted to explore art and creativity. Leek College of Further Education and School of Art helped to design an initial programme of work. Many participants had left school convinced that they were no good at art, others loved art but had no time or space to be creative.
They are ordinary Peak District people, sharing their passion for their much visited landscape, as well as their enthusiasm for each other's work. Since 2001 Ilam Artists have steadily gained confidence in their work and their ability to express what is important to them.
Thank you
Over the years different organisations have been kind enough to give grants to Ilam Art Club: Peak District National Park Authoritys Sustainable Development Fund and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council. The National Trust kindly allow Ilam Art Club to use their learning centre at Ilam Hall every Thursday. We are very grateful for all contributions and support which make Ilam Art Club possible.
As well as getting together every Thursday evening, the Club also organises various trips and events. They have an annual exhibition in Ilam Church, and in the last year or so have visited the Liverpool Tate, the Birmingham Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, to see the Staffordshire Hoard in Stoke-on-Trent.

A peal of church bells being rung in a 17th-century woodcut Photo: The Stapleton Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library
Ilam Bell Ringers meet at Ilam Church on Wednesday evenings from 8 to 9pm
To find out more contact Vera Nottage
+44 (0)1335 350227
To book the Ilam Bell Ringers for a wedding contact Ian Smith
+44 (0)1335 350236

Ilam Bells

Bell no 3 was cracked in the 1900s. It sounded like a wet fish on a tin bucket! Ian Smith, David Frith and Robert White led the team who restored the bells in 1990s. There was lots of fund raising including a duck race on the River Manifold.

The Bell Ringers are a keen group that practice most weeks and ring for Sunday services and special occasions. If you are interested in the bells or would like to know about ringing, please get in touch.
Detail from the 12th panel of The Ilam Story

Sheep Dog Trials in the lovely area around Dovedale on the Staffordshire Derbyshire border.
Contact secretary Robert L Watkins
Dovedale Sheep Dog Trials 2018
21st and 22nd August
To find out more about Sheep Dog Trials click here:
Sheep Dog Trials
Sheep dog trails in the glorious Staffordshire Peak District countryside around Ilam held over two days in August.
Local Trials
First day: Local Trials from 7.00 am onwards, featuring Nursery, Novice and Open competitors from the Local Area.

Open Trials
Second day:Open Trial, from 7.00 am onwards with up to 90 competitors, from all areas of England and Wales in the Open Singles and also the highlight of the day, the Doubles Competition, which takes place around lunchtime, when 5 or 6 of the top dog runners in the country compete for the Doubles Trophy and prize, this is always a great spectator event, no matter what the weather and should not be missed.

Always on the Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May, always in the country garden of Dovedale House......
Contact: Dovedale House, Ilam, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AZ
+44 (0) 1335 350365
Dovedale Fete
........Always welcoming and great fun, the Dovedale fete raises money for Ilam Primary School and Dovedale House. It is the perfect village fete, with children's maypole dancing, fantastic cake stall, live music, wonderful plant stall (manned by experts!), delicious food, entertainments and weird and wonderful country games.
A real community event
The fete sees the whole community helping out and is dependant on the generosity of local people with their time, and visitors with their cash, to generate much needed funds for Dovedale House and the Ilam School Association.
Both organisations are really grateful to everyone for that help and to the Hudson family for the use of the field for ample car parking. The event, which incidentally started life many years ago as a gymkhana, carries on regardless of inclement weather although to be honest the sun always shines!
Men called Morris
Over the years weve had escapologists being shot from canons, men called Morris with their flailing hankies, rock bands and classics, maypoles and mayhem, duck races and "Daisys Dollop, a billion burgers and countless cakes but most of all, a great time for everyone.

A real, old fashioned country show with everything from handicrafts to prize bulls!
The Manifold Valley Agricultural Society
The 2018 Show will be on Saturday 11th August on the showground Ilam Moor Lane
The Society was formed to foster competition and fellowship within the rural community of the parishes bounding the course of the River Manifold.
Generally, entrants at the Show are limited to those who reside, own or rent property in these parishes. There are exceptions to this rule for the Heavy Horse section, the Rare Breeds, a number of the Cattle Classes and for all of the Pet Classes.
It is hoped that this policy will encourage local youngsters and new entrants to the showing world.
Membership of the Society has many advantages, including free admission to the Show for you and your family, free tea and coffee in the Members Marquee and the use of the Marquee and its bar. There is also the benefit of reduced Entry fees.

The National Trust
White Peak Estate Office

All enquiries: 01335 350503

National Trust Events at Ilam
There are outdoor events throughout the year for all ages. Join us for a free walk starting at 11:00am every Friday Morning, a great way to explore the area for the first time. There are self led trails for families available each school holiday, and the popular Cadbury Easter Trail runs across the Easter weekend.