"eyam" Eyam by johnwilky53
Eyam Travel Guide: 46 reviews and 96 photos
ring a ring a roses
a pocket full of poses,
we all fall down.
The Great Plague 1665-66
Eyam is most famous for the villagers' sacrifices during the Great Plague in 1665-66.
The plague was brought unintentionally to Eyam from London in a parcel of cloths sent to George Vicars. He was a travelling tailor who at the time was lodging with Mrs Copper and her two sons in a cottage now known as Plague Cottage, 200 metres from Eyam Hall. The parcel arrived from plague infested London in September 1665. George contracted the deadly disease, died four days later and was buried on September 7th 1665. 15 days latter Mrs Cooper's son Edward died and by the end of September another four villagers were dead. October saw the death of a further twenty-three and some families started to leave the village.
William Mompesson, the rector of Eyam, recognising the dangers of the infection spreading led the villages in a self-imposed quarantine of their village, allowing none to enter or leave. This heroic feat achieved their objective of stopping the virus spreading.
There are many signs on cottages in the village relating to the events of the plague, the bulk of which are close to the church.
From the church there is a footpath to Mompesson's Well (grid reference SK 223 772). This is a spring covered by a gritstone slab, and is where food and medical supplies were left and the villagers left money. The money was disinfected here by either running water or vinegar.
During the plague the church was closed and services were held outdoors in Cucklett Delf, a nearby valley. Services are held here annually to commemorate the plague. As there were no funerals during this period families had to bury their own dead, usually near their homes.
The Riley Graves
Just outside the village at Riley Farm are the seven graves within a stone wall contain the remains of Mrs Hanncocke's Husband and six of her children. All were struck down by the plague and buried between the 3rd and 10th August 1666.Here lieth bvried the body of John Hancock Sen who died Avg 7th 1666
The Riley Graves (SK 227 766), 700 metres to the east of the village, are not signposted in the village, so to get to them, continue along Church Street until the major road is met.
At this junction there is a Bull Ring. This is were a bull or bear would be fastened to the ring set upon by dogs as entertainment during the Wakes Week. This practice was declared illegal in 1835.
Then turn left up the hill along New Road towards Hathersage. Even the Eyam Tea Room on the right has got a small plaque to commemorate the plague victims who died there The last sign about the plague is at the Miners Arms Croft on the left. Go past the Wesleyan Church and as you are coming out of the village you should see a tarmac track on the left which has a No Through Road sign. It also has a little sign which says Pedestrians - Riley Graves.
Take the right track when tarmac track splits about 400 metres from the road. There is a small sign which says Riley Graves. 50 metres along this track, which can get muddy during inclement weather, the Riles Graves can be seen in the field on the left. There is a stile to the graves in another 150 metres along the track. The graves are in an enclosure about 30 metres from the track.
There are graves with simple headstones for:
Elizabeth - August 3rd
William - August 7th
John - August 7th
Oner - August 7th
John - August 8th
Alice - August 9th
Amy - August 10th
William Mompesson's wife Katherine was a victim of the plague and she died on the 25th of August 1666 and is buried in the church yard.
the record of the people who died in the plague.
these are the cottages where the cloth infected with the deadly arrived.
- Pros:a great and suprising history lesson
- In a nutshell:keep taking the tablets
just a couple of miles away ,just thro' grindleford and off the snake pass (a57) is derwent water,where they trained... more travel advice
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