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Tree Tour at Ilam Church.

The church at Ilam is named The Church of the Holy Cross and is dedicated to Saint Bertram. It is situated in a beautiful valley in the #StaffordshirePeakDistrict just to the front of #Ilamhall and has some lovely trees in its grounds.

The original village cottages were located somewhere around the church and it was also where the Battle Stone down by the river was most likely originally sited. The #BattleStone was discovered under the foundations of a cottage when they were relocated to their present position outside the halls gates.

Battle Stone Saxon Cross
The Battle Stone Saxon Cross

It should be noted that on the surrounding hills are sited #Neolithic burial mounds. If the cross was originally a standing stone it may well have linked with these mounds and the surrounding hills. The Peak District was covered in forest til it was cleared by the Neolithic farmers converting it to farmland and imposing their own world view upon the landscape.

As you enter the church yard a tree stump has been turned into a seat. Once through the gate there are a variety of trees including a #redwood.

Ilam red wood Holy Cross church Ilam Park
Bella taking a Tree Tour of the churchyard

Ilam churchyard
Ilam church yard with various tree and two ancient crosses

There is also what appears to be an ancient yew tree in the grounds.

Yew tree Ilam churchyard
Bella investigating the ancient yew

Centred in the valley this little church is in a really picturesque setting. It is a very old building with parts dating to #Saxon times with later #Norman and Early English additions. It would not be unreasonable to assume the yew tree was growing here before the church.

Ilam church Ilam Hall Italian garden
A view of the church from Ilan Hall Italian garden. you can the redwood towering above the other trees.

The church itself is dedicated to #SaintBertram and his tomb can be found inside. On the accompanying Ilam Hall tree tour you can see the bridge dedicated to him. There are two local holy wells in the locality which I didn’t get to see so I will do a return visit sometime.

Here is a short film I've made dedicated to the Ilam yew. I hope you enjoy it.

Poem for the Ilam Yew

On those holy hills they buried their dead

While down in the valley they were wed

By river and holy well

Under the trees and in the dells

Days have come, days have gone

As sun and moon have shone

The saint he came and made a place to pray

For the words of his god he wanted to say

They came and put a holy cross

For all the souls they thought were lost

While all around the hills do rise

Holding the hermit and the pilgrims sighs

A hymn to sun, to moon, to day, to night,

A prayer offered up to the holy sky

While down in the valley gentle and green

That ancient yew tree can still be seen

Those stories were a long time ago

But in our hearts we all know

Our connections to the land

And its' stories go hand in hand

Be it Pagan or Christian born

The wild land makes pilgrims of us all

There is no end to your gods' power

In every tree and every flower

When we allow beauty to be dressed in green

Then love comes easily seen

For both Christian and Pagan see

The lovely, old, and sacred yew tree

The church at Ilam and the ancient #holy #Saxoncrosses are rightfully protected by law. This is not so however for the yew tree or for those places out in nature that many regard as sacred.

We at Ancient and Sacred Trees believe that our ancient trees and sacred places in nature should be recognised and protected by law with each being designated as a #PlaceOfWorship. In this way we will begin to make some kind of reparation for the damage we have caused to our land. By providing protection we will be changing our culture for a better world where humans and other animals can live in a sustainable ecosystem.

On our AST website you will find links to petitions for you to sign and do your bit to help mother nature. You can also find videos, tree temple and lots more. This website is an expanding resource and we welcome your contributions. We have Facebook groups for places around the world. Ancient and Sacred trees is run by Tree Lovers for Tree Lovers for trees. It is Free to join us just sign up via this blog!

Thank you and wishing you all many blessings

from Amanda Claire

AST founder x

Check out my other tree tour here for more trees to see around Ilam and info on parking, disabled access etc. It would be nice if you can click on the little red heart at the bottom to show me you've read this. :-) is an ethical gift shop raising money for trees.


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