The National Trust celebrates its 125th anniversary this month

Ilam Hall in the grounds of the sprawling Ilam Park Estate.

THE National Trust is celebrating its 125 years of preserving the nation’s historic homes and countryside, and amongst its many treasures is the Ilam Park Estate on the banks of the River Dove.
This immensely picturesque location, with its historic Hall, claims a generous share of the 26 milllion annuall visitors drawn to Trust properties dotted around the country.
Ilam Park consists of 84 acres of beautiful park and woodland neighbouring the tiny village of Ilam in the Staffordshire Peak District.
The grounds are open freely to the public but not the Grade II-listed Ilam Hall itself, which is used as a hostel and leased by the Trust to the Youth Hostel Association.
The Hall was dsgned by architect James Trubshaw and built between 1821-1826, but the main part was demolished in 1935.
The National Trust celebrates it 125th anniversary on January 12 and has an incredible 5.6 million members drawn from all walks of life.
It was founded in 1895 by Victorian philanthropists Octavia Hill, Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwick Rawnsley, with the purpose of preserving the country’s hsitoric places and countryside from the ravages of industrialisation, enabling everyone to have access to nature and beauty.
Today, the Trust has a porfolio of 500 properties and 960 sq miles of land, looked after by 65,000 volunteers.
Membership of the Trust has doubled in the last 25 years, which is testament in paricular to its growing popularity with those seeking a temporary escape from busy urban sprawl.