About Us

About Us

Peaks and Quiet consists of properties in two tranquil locations near to Ilam and Calton villages on the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border. 

Slade House Farm is situated on high ground above the Manifold valley  1100 feet above sea level. It comprises 4 cottages well spaced around a farmyard, in eight acres of land.  Though no longer a working farm it is surrounded by pastures and meadows and is approached along a farm track about 1/3 mile in from the nearest road. 

By contrast River Lodge, situated  2 miles south east, is surrounded by woodland low down in the Manifold valley on the banks of the river at an altitude of 300 feet.  Set in a garden with a small orchard  it was originally built in 1840 as a lodge to Ilam Hall, and brims with old fashioned English cottage character.

At Slade House Farm the orginal farmhouse is a grade 2 listed building orginating in the 1600s.

The previous owner, an architect, Alan Philps completely renovated the original house and converted it into two properties Slade House and Slade Cottage between 1986 and 1989.

Slade Tops was converted from a barn in 1992.

We (Julie and John Oxtoby) have owned Slade House Farm since December 2018.  Slade House Farm includes The Great Barn which is currently our home, which we share with our two, possibly over friendly Golden Retrievers Cindy and our new puppy Alice.   We have four rare breed Oxford sheep who help us keep the grass down.

We have around eight acres of land at Slade House Farm, which include the grassy areas and the two fields and barn above the properties, which are all here for guests to enjoy.

River Lodge is about about a mile and a half out of Ilam village on the single track road which then goes on to Calton after passing through Throwley.

River Lodge is a grade 2 listed building and originally a lodge to the magnificent Ilam Hall which is a National Trust property which houses the Youth Hostel and is set within beautiful Riverside Parkland.

There is a path from the garden of River Lodge, which joins the riverside footpath, which will take you on the beautiful ‘paradise’ walk to Ilam Hall.

Julie Richardson (now Oxtoby), was born and brought up on the neighbouring Throwley Hall Farm.   Julie’s late parents George and Muriel Richardson owned Slade House Farm prior to its sale to Mr Philps 30 years ago.   Mr Philps, an award winning architect, transformed the farm yard and buildings into the current group of properties.

Julie left the family home of Throwley in 1983 to pursue a career in the NHS but never stopped loving the farm, the countryside and was in reality hefted to this amazing hillside.

She met John in Macclesfield in 1989 and they were married in Ilam Church in 1991.   John loves the natural world and is a keen birdwatcher.   He was stunned by this beautiful remote part of the Peak District when introduced to it by Julie.

They have together worked in the NHS for over 55 years and as they wind down these roles they are planning to continue to nurture their beloved homesteads and welcome visitors to share their love of the area for years to come.

Coming back to live here has fulfilled Julie’s lifelong dream and enabled John to find the perfect countryside space to fulfil his love of the natural world.

The Richardson family continue to farm next door Throwley Estate which includes much of the adjacent farmland.   They graze their sheep and cattle in these beautiful surroundings producing top quality beef and lamb which can be purchased in Ashbourne at Mark’s Butchers adjacent to the Shaw Cross car park.