The setting of Ilam in the Peak District reminded the estate owner Jesse Watts Russell of the Swiss Alps. As an extention of the picturesque ideal, he commissioned Sir George Gilbert Scott to design an Alpine-style or ‘cottage ornee’ model estate village scheme for Ilam, with new houses replacing the older vernacular buildings in the centre of the village beside the park. The scheme was designed in around 1839. A group of Scott-designed cottage-style houses was constructed in around 1840 with Gate Lodge constructed at around the same time. Features include gables, tall ornate chimneys, tile hanging, mullioned and transomed windows and a decorative diamond-shaped timber lattice-work to the gables, uniting the scheme but the buildings remaining individually different. Scott was probably also consulted over the design of the Ilam Cross in the early 1840s, also based on an Eleanor Cross, and concurrent with his design for the Martyrs Memorial in Oxford.

Ilam School and School House, Ilam

A new school was designed and built in 1854 with a school house. The roofs feature bands of fish scale red tiles interspersed with plain blue ones, which match the church.