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Eyam Village (Derbyshire, England)

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6 Reviews

The village is best known for being the "plague village" that chose to isolate itself when the Black Death was found in the village in August 1665.

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    6 Reviews
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      14.07.2012 19:30
      Very helpful



      Definitely worth a visit for any history enthusiasts and for all others too!

      Whilst looking for a destination for a recent holiday, I came across the small Derbyshire village of Eyam. It is located approximately 7 miles from the tourist hotspot of Bakewell in the popular Peak District and although it can get quite busy, it's generally a quieter location in the area.

      On our visit we rented a small cottage that we found on the Internet and made our way to the village. It's very easy to find Eyam, as it is only a minute or two off the main Buzton to Chesterfield road up a steep hill. The village itself is very small and so parking in the heart it is ana premium with only a few sides of road available. A few minutes walk away towards the evidential part of the village is a pay and display car park which is a better option if you are on a day trip and don't mind a short walk to the heart of the village. There are local buses from Buston and Bakewell which both serve the village although not on too regular an occasion. There is no train station in the village, with the nearest ones being in either Buxton or Bakewell, and again using the bus to getty Eyam.
      The village centre itself has a local convenience store which had a good supply of everyday items. There is also a well stocked butchers which is a good way of supporting the local farming community. There are also two tea rooms in the village, literally across the road from each other. We sampled both of them, and found that the one next to the butcher was very expensive and of dubious quality, whereas the one across the road which I think was called simply Eyam Tea Rooms was really nice and friendly with very good quality food. There was also a village pub called the Miners Arms which although never really busy seemed to have a nice atmosphere and wasn't too expensive.

      There are also a couple of tourist attractions in the village which aren't well promoted in the Peak District but are worth pointing out. Firstly there is a museum which documents the history of the village and is worth checking out. There is also a very small craft centre which although has a couple of nice local trades represented is actually a little bit boring and has too many bigger companies selling windows etc. I was very disappointed by this and wouldn't recommend going here if you have a choice! There is also Eyam Hall which we didn't visit at the time but seemed to be pretty popular locally. It is located next to the craft centre so hopefully that isn't a marker of the quality of the place! One of my favourite things in the village, although slightly silly are the village stocks. With a witty little story about how misbehaving tourists or kids can still be locked into them, they are a cute little addition to the village, retaining a slice of its history, and I couldn't resist the temptation to put my foot into them!
      The main attraction of Eyam however lies in its rich and quite frankly tragic history. The village is best known as one of the places outside of London which suffered badly from the bubonic plague in the middle ages. The story goes that the local tailor took possession of a package of supplies from London which was infected with the black death and then became very unwell shortly thereafter. Unbeknownst to the rest of the village they had unwittingly exposed themselves to the biggest killer in the whole of Europe and drastic action was needed to prevent the further spread of the bacteria. As a result the villagers decided to go into self inflicted quarantine which would have been unheard of at the time. When they required supplies, they were provided at a pre arranged location and any payments were thoroughly scrubbed before being accepted. The village itself and the villagers in particular paid a heavy price for their courage. Many of them died and again trying to contain the illness many of them were buried in the grounds of their own houses. These graves are still here today for you to see, and there are many little plaques on houses and in fields explaining what happened at various locations which as a history fan I found particularly appealing. It's nice to see a village proud of its past and not exploiting it for mass tourism, yet still explaining it in a clear and interesting way. The story is very sad and heart wrenching at times, but I found it to be a heartwarming story of courage over adversity particularly at a time in history which you generally don't associate with positive human stories.

      There are a number of cottages to rent in Eyam, as well as a youth hostel on the outskirts of the village, although there is no hotel. There are many walks that start or end in the village and so it is not unusual to see large groups of backpackers or ramblers strolling through the village streets. A five minute car journey or fifteen minute walk down the hill is a small Indian restaurant called Little India which is built into the mountain side in the wonderfully named nearby village of Stoney Middleton (no relation to Pippa or Kate before you ask!). We dined here once and found the quality of the food as well as the service to be of a high standard and is well worth a visit if you are staying in the area.
      So to sum this one up I would definitely say that if you are looking for a quaint Peak District village to stay in for a few days then Eyam is definitely a place to consider. The location is ideal for trips to nearby attractions such as Buxton, Bakewell as well as Chatsworth House. If you don't fancy staying in the village it is well worth taking a trip here to learn more about the history of the place and in particular take the plague walk through the village. It's both fascinating and educational and I thoroughly enjoyed the way in which the information is presented. All in all it's definitely worth a visit in some capacity and I would recommend it to anyone in the area.

      Thanks for reading this review and it may also appear on Ciao under my same username.


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        23.05.2012 17:34
        Very helpful



        Go there. Now. No matter how far away you live

        Eyam in Derbyshire is an unlikely tourist destination, yet every year it attracts thousands of people. Although it is a picturesque little village in the heart of Derbyshire that has existed in some form or other as a settlement since Roman times, its notoriety ultimately derives from a period of roughly fifteen months in the late 17th century.

        A Quick History Lesson
        During the summer of 1665, a resident of Eyam received a package of cloth from London. Finding the cloth to be damp on its arrival, he hung it in front of the fire to dry. This awakened some dormant plague bacteria in the cloth and within a week, he was dead. As the plague ravaged the village, the local Rector, William Mompesson persuaded many of the villagers to shut themselves off from the outside world to prevent spreading the disease to the rest of Derbyshire. This brave decision was a death sentence for many of the villagers as, over the course of September 1665-November 1666, many succumbed to the disease. It is estimated that out of a pre-plague population of around 350 (some put it higher), around 80 survived.

        Getting There
        Although only a small village, Eyam is highly accessible. It sits in the centre of the Peak District and is easy to reach from Sheffield, Manchester or other parts of Derbyshire. Probably the easiest route is to head towards Bakewell on the A6, following the signs to Stony Middleton and then to Eyam. The approach to Eyam is up a steep hill, but all the roads are well maintained and should offer no problems for anyone in a car.

        On arrival in Eyam, you will be directed to one of two car parks at the upper end of the village. The first is a pay and display one which costs (on average) about a pound an hour. However, literally next door is a free car park and I'd advise trying here first. The only downside is that both car parks are relatively small and at the peak of summer, I suspect that parking could be an issue.

        Eyam Today
        The most pleasing thing about Eyam today is that although it is a significant tourist attraction it has not sold out to the tourist dollar (or pound, Euro or yen). Its development has been well-managed so that it can continue to function as both a village community and a tourist site. Places and buildings of significance are clearly identified by green plaques which are easy to spot and contain information about the history of that particular building, whilst a number of well-written information boards are posted throughout the village. Many relate to the plague year, although there are a few that point out the historical significance of other buildings, reminding visitors that Eyam is not just about the plague. It has not sold out or become "Disney-fied" and has managed to strike a good balance between tourist spot and local community.

        Things to see
        It is the terrifying, yet touching story of the plague that will attract most visitors and there are a number of well-maintained sites to visit. A map (obtainable from the tourist information point in the village) is essential to make sure you don't miss anything out as the sites are scattered throughout the village.

        These include the Riley Graves (see below), the boundary stone and Mompesson's Well, which marked the area beyond which villagers could not go and where food was left for them by the outside world. The church, too, is well worth visiting. Inside, there is a memorial book which records the names and dates of death of all known victims. This really brings home the personal impact of the disease. The church also contains some a fascinating and very well-written display providing background information about the plague in Eyam and which combines general information with more personal, touching stories.

        Don't be too quick to just look at these items and go, though, since the church itself - regardless of its plague connection - is a beautiful building and well worth taking time to look around.

        Almost everywhere you go in Eyam, there is a tragic story. Cottages bear plaques indicating who lived and died there. Many families lost significant numbers (including one poor woman who lost her husband and all her children, only to remarry and see her new husband succumb to the disease.) Then, there is the case of the Hancock family, where the mother was the sole survivor, having to bury her six children and husband over a period of just seven days. Their graves (the Riley Graves) can still be seen on the outskirts of the village and are a poignant reminder of the terrible fate of some of the villagers.

        When I arrived at Eyam, I thought we would probably spend a maximum of two hours there. In fact, we were there for at least double that and even then we didn't see everything (Eyam Hall was shut for the season when we visited; we also didn't visit the museum). Better still, the whole day cost us virtually nothing: car parking was free, as are most of the sites (only the museum and the Hall charge). Our only expense was some light refreshments from one of the coffee shops. There are not many places where you can experience such a fascinating, inspiring and emotional day for absolutely nothing.

        One thing you do need to bear in mind in Eyam is that there is quite a lot of walking involved, as the various plague sites are scattered throughout the village and surrounding area. Many of the key sites (the church, the plague cottage) are clustered in the middle of the village and are easily accessible. A few, though, involve walking across fields or along stony tracks - some of which are up steep hills. This includes Mompesson's Well, the Riley Graves and the Boundary Stone. Although none of the walks are particularly long (the furthest is about 0.5 miles out of the village), they are all in different directions, so you do find yourself backtracking quite a bit. However, given how beautiful the village and the surrounding area are, this is no great hardship, providing you are reasonably fit. Given the nature of the village, you would also be advised to visit Eyam on a nice day, as almost everything you do is outdoors.

        Thanks to its historical significance, Eyam can get incredibly busy. As well as being a popular tourist spot, it is also a destination for school trips and even when we went (in mid September) it was packed with schoolchildren and tourists. The good thing is that since there are a variety of sites to visit, you can choose your own route and if one site is busy, you can simply move onto the next one and return later.

        Eyam is a deeply moving place to visit and should be on the list of anyone who finds themselves in Derbyshire. It might not be the biggest place in the world, but it is safe to say that it is one that has always fascinated me. Tremendous credit should be given to the Town Council and authorities for successfully managing to maintain a proper sense of village life and community, whilst at the same time making sure this terrible, touching tale is still being remembered almost 350 years on.


        © Copyright SWSt 2012


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        • More +
          13.03.2010 21:26
          Very helpful



          Lots to learn.

          Eyam is a village that lays slightly to the North of Central England and it sits at the base of the Pennine range. The locals refer to the village as `Eeem`. The surrounding land is packed with lead ore and they say that the hills under the village are a hive of caverns and caves.
          The village of Eyam has great tales to tell but sadly for the most part those tales are tinged with great sadness.

          Way back in 1665 George Vicars Eyam's local tailor took delivery of a bale of cloth, he opened the package, the fabric was damp and he unwittingly released deadly bacilli that were responsible for spreading the plague.
          Consequently George was taken seriously ill and soon died, many villagers soon succumbed to the deadly virus that spread like wildfire and just twelve months later the village of Eyam had lost nearly a third of its population. Eyam was initially home to around eight hundred people so the loss was great.
          This article is about the village but it is essential that you get the background information to be able to understand what the villagers of bygone days had to endure.

          It was essential to try and control the plague, so the village went into self imposed isolation, no-one entered the village and no-one left the boundaries. You can imagine just how difficult this must have been, the villagers still needed vital supplies but everything that they needed was left on the outskirts beside the boundary stone of the village ready for collection. If money had to exchange hands then the coinage was instantly disinfected.
          The villagers must have been tremendously resilient, as their loved ones died as a result of the plague the remaining family members prepared the graves and buried their dead. Although it does seem that there was one dubious character who acted as a sexton but charged exorbitantly for his services.

          The then young Rector William Mompesson took it upon himself to take the worshipping outdoors, where the germs had less chance to work their evils and the Norman church of St Lawrence was abandoned in favour of an open field called Cucklet Delph.
          Both the Rector and his wife lost the fight against the plague and the Mompesson tomb can be seen in the graveyard at Eyam.

          But many plague victims were literally buried beside the homes where they had died, the residents of Eyam were desperate to confine the plague and they felt that they were limiting contamination by not moving their dead too far away.
          To think so logically when under such tremendous pressure just shows how strong these villagers must have been.
          The people of Eyam were mostly lead miners, farmers or quarrymen and in the area it is still possible to see the remains of some old mines.

          Eyam is a tourist attraction, in the summer months the village can get really busy. Parking is at a premium because the centre of Eyam has become a car-free zone.
          One of the best places to park is in the free car park ( Hawkhill Road ) that lays opposite the museum.

          When you see the village for the first time you realise just how well looked after it is, it is like taking a step back in time and if you were not among many other tourists then you could be forgiven for thinking that you had been transported back a couple of centuries.
          The stone cottages in the village are very traditional, some of them have old leaded windows and the majority of them have extremely well tended front gardens.

          Very close to the middle of the village is St Lawrences church, in the graveyard you will see a huge ninth century Saxon Cross and on one of the church walls there is Sundial.
          The church is home to the Parish Register and the register holds the names of those who died from the plague.
          Inside of the church there is a small amount of information realting to the outbreak.
          Next door to the church is St Lawrences rectory but to the West of the church lay the row of cottages where the village tailor opened that lethal package of cloth that contained the infected cloth.

          Eyam Hall is on Main Street, a very imposing mansion that was built in the seventeenth century, Eyam Hall was built by the Wright family and today it is still owned and occupied by the same family.
          The house is open to the public throughout the summer and it has quite a lot to offer any would be visitor. The tapestry room is wondrous and being an amateur needlewoman I was spellbound when I saw them, the amount of work and effort that have gone into those tapestries is phenomenal.
          The gardens are precious and the 17th century garden is enchanting.
          But the hall has even more to offer in the form of a gift shop, an art gallery, a small shop selling crafted wood, a pottery shop, a licensed restaurant and a bakehouse.
          The art gallery is particularly interesting, the artist who displays her work is highly talented ( Rebecca Webster ).

          Eyam has an interesting museum that is housed in a building that was once a Methodist church. The museum is just off of the car park ( where there are toilet facilities too) , the admission charges for the museum are good, £2 for an adult and £1.50 for concession or a child.
          A Heritage Lottery grant ensured that the museum could expand and where originally it was just a single storey it now has two floors.
          Eyam museum is packed with interesting information about the village and that information covers the prehistory, the geology, the social and industrial development and of course there is much relating to the plague.
          In fact in one display you will see a victim of the plague laying in bed breathing his last -if you think that this will upset the children then shoot off and show them the model of the lead mine !

          At the far end of The Village Square you will see the stocks, so children beware !

          Make sure that you stop at the local bakery because outside there is a large chunk of stone with a huge bull ring attached to it. Many years ago the bulls would have been tied to this ring and then have been subjected to torment by dogs - the tormented bulls meat was said to be far more tender ! Now that has to be an old Wives tale if ever I heard one.

          On the road out of the village heading towards Grindleford there is a group of plague graves and these are collectively known as The Riley graves.

          Eyam do hold the traditional well-dressing ceremony and the villagers dress two wells, one at Town end and one at Town Head and like all Well Dressings they are intricate, exacting and highly attractive.
          If you are going to be in the area then I think that Wakes week is the end of August.

          During your time in Eyam you will notice that there are a lot of plaques attached to the masonry and these plaques tell of the tragic events all of those years ago, they are a constant reminder that the plague and its victims will never be forgotten.
          On the Sunday at the end of Wakes week the local church holds a Plague commemoration service.

          The Miners Arms is in Water Lane and the 17th century pub offers real ales and pub grub. I have only ever gone into the beer garden and enjoyed a swift half of shandy , the pub has always been thronged with customers and the garden is good for families and dogs.The pub is supposed to be haunted so watch out !
          On the edge of eyam there is a Youth hostel and the Old Toll house on Main road is now a fish and chip shop.

          If you are on the lookout for an interesting day out and you are in the vicinity then you could learn a lot from stopping off at Eyam.


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          • More +
            29.03.2009 22:39
            Very helpful
            1 Comment



            a facinating story

            Eyam is a small village in Derbyshire well worth a visit. The quiet village of Eyam has a fascinating, yet tragic story to tell...

            The plague arrived at the house of the village tailor George Vicars, via a parcel of cloth from London. The cloth was damp and was hung out in front of the fire to dry, thus releasing the plague infested fleas. On 7th September 1665, George Vicars, the first plague victim died of a raging fever. As the plague raged it was decided to hold the church services outdoors at nearby Cucklett Delf and, on the advice of rector William Mompesson and the previous incumbent Thomas Stanley villagers stayed within the village to minimize the spread of the disease. Cucklett Delf was also the secret meeting place of lovers Emmott Sydall, from Eyam, and Rowland Torre who was from a neighbouring village. They would call to each other across the rocks until Emmott Sydall herself became a victim of the plague. Six of the eight Sydall family died and their neighbours lost nine family members.

            Things to do
            Eyam village has lots of houses with plaques on telling you about its unfortunate previous occupants.
            The village church has a wealth of information about the plague and some original documents.
            There are a number of nice tea rooms for drinks, ice creams and snacks.
            A few local shops sell general items and tourist mementos.
            There are also lots of lovely walks to go on which start in the village.

            Eyam is a beautiful place to visit for the whole family. Children and adults alike will be facinated by the story of the plague. There is enough to do here for a weekend so take advantage of the local guesthouses or campsites.
            I love Eyam and visit approx once per year - i never get bored of looking at the houses and church. We also always find a different walk to do each time.


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              26.10.2008 00:18
              Very helpful



              The plague has never been so beautiful

              The small village of Eyam, (pronounced Eem) in Derbyshire, is a picturesque place with such an historical story to tell.

              My first experience with this beautiful little village was back in the late 1980's, during its annual festival, when a few of us pitched some tents on the fields heading towards Stoney Middleton, (we did have the owners permission so we were made very welcome...although nowadays camping is forbidden on that land)
              Anyway, back then there were two pubs in the village where the visiting tourist could find liquid refreshments whilst watching the small but fantastic parade as it passed by... although getting served was a challenge in itself due to the mass of bodies inside the bar... with the atmosphere during the day so relaxed and so enjoyable, I mean, even the police officers on duty would be visibly enjoying themselves, getting into the spirit of the festival...
              And as for the sheep roast...well, what a delicious treat indeed, especially after a few of the old amber nectars... and you were offered a lot of sliced meat for a minimal donation...
              What memories of some unforgettable days... and still worth a visit even when the festival is not on.

              * BRIEF HISTORY, which entices the many tourist to the village.......

              It is best known for it's residents heroic act in 1665 when the plague, (black death) took hold.
              The plague hit the village in in August of 1665 contained in flea infested materials delivered to the local tailor, George Vicar, from London, he died with-in the week.
              When the towns people realised what was happening they were advised by the rector, Reverend William Mompesson to quarantine the village thus stopping the infection spreading.
              The villagers used many precautions, such as burying there own dead, not allowing visitors into the village and having goods dropped off at certain points on the village borders.

              In all over 250 villagers died in the 16 months that the plague raged, leaving less than 100 people alive.
              The most famous of the villagers was Elizabeth Hancock, she survived the plague but had to bury her six children and her husband in what is known as 'Riley's grave'. These graves can be found enclosed in a circular wall if you walk through the village and follow the signs about half way onto the field. (it is not accessible for wheelchairs as there is a narrow stone ledge to cross and the walk up the hill is quite steep).

              * HOW TO GET THERE....?

              You can reach Eyam via theA623 from Stoney Middleton, or the B6521 from Sheffield.
              There is also a bus service which takes you into the village centre

              * THE VILLAGE.....

              Most of the stone built cottages, shops and the public house in the village have plaques attached to them giving a brief description of the victim at the time of the plague, and there were many.
              If you park your car in the pay and display car park at the far end of the village, (turn left when entering the village and follow the signs), then you can tour the entire village in a circular motion.
              Starting with the museum which is situated directly opposite the car park.
              After the museum and you head for the village centre you will pass a small corner shop then passed the beautifully grand Eyam Hall, standing proudly behind the iron gates.
              Then as you walk on through the village you will be intrigued by the fascinating history which unfolds as you read the plaques.
              The church should be your next place to wonder around as there is yet more interesting facts to be found inside and out. The Saxon cross in the graveyard dates back to the 7th century.

              When you reach the clean, picturesque centre of the village you come across a few shops, cafes and the Minors Arms, (built in 1630 and now the only pub left).

              From the centre you can either head along the road towards 'Riley's Grave' or between the shops opposite the small café to the 'Boundary stone', which was one of the places where, during the plague, food and supplies were dropped off, the money from the village would be placed in vinegar filled slots in the stone. The other exchange place was Mompesson's Well, high above the village.

              Every year, on the last Sunday in August there is a festival called plague Sunday, to remember the plague victims. This is a great festival and is enjoyed by everyone involved, creating a relaxed and fantastic atmosphere.

              There is a lot to see and do in the small village, with all the walks and information regarding its history, it is worth spending the entire day there.
              I would recommend the food in the Eyam Hall Butery or enjoy a nice coffee in the Tea rooms, both have outdoor seating are reasonably priced.

              The only downside to this village is the new houses which have been built near the centre and the ones that are being built behind the church....IMO they are an eyesore and they simply shouldn't be allowed to ruin the beautiful village and how they gained planning permission for the new build is beyond me...(but obviously not beyond the back handers )

              * CONCLUSION.....

              In all, a great day out for every member of the family, from young to old, with many sights and many great little walks.
              Some walks are a little rough under foot, like the trek to the boundary stones and onto Stoney Middleton which can be a little rocky under foot.
              But there are some easier walks, although uphill, like the gentle stroll passed the housing estates and onto the Riley graves... (although the gap in the wall leading to the graves is very narrow and will not be very accommodating for a pram or such like... wide loads not permitting...?)

              And for a bite to eat then I do recommend the little shop called the Peak pantry which is on the square in the village centre... the toasted sandwiches are very freshly filled a delight to taste...the last time I visited I had the cheese and onion...mmmm... it set me up for the walking ahead of me.
              Also the tea room, which lies opposite, is a quaint little place to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a cream scone

              If it wasn't for the constant "regeneration projects" then this little village would have remained one of the last few untouched historical English villages fro tourists to enjoy for ever... but sadly it seems that if there is a square foot of land then a house must be built on it, regardless of where it is...


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                10.04.2008 14:42
                Very helpful



                A must visit historic village in the Derbyshire countryside.

                For anyone who enjoyed my little tour of the delights of Ashford in the Water here is an insight into another of my local villages. This one is a little more famous (and consequently a little more crowded) than Ashford, but it is still as pretty and also has a wonderful story to tell. This place is the Peak District village of Eyam.

                ~~~WHERE IS EYAM?

                Eyam can be found on the B6521 (off the A623) not far from Stoney Middleton. It is around 30 minutes by car from Sheffield and junction 29 of the M1 (the Chesterfield turn off). The area where Eyam lies is called the High Peaks and it is 800 feet above sea level, above Middleton Top and its Limestone cliffs.
                Eyam originally built up where it is because it was near to so much natural water ~ it flows down from the surrounding hills and ends up in various springs around the village (more on the water situation later!).

                The easiest way to get to Eyam is by car because public transport isn't that frequent. It is walkable from surrounding villages and a very good base for touring the area. During the summer months (and Bank Holidays) more buses run to Eyam from Chesterfield (off of Beetwell Street; the X67 usually) but, as winter approaches, there are just three a day.

                ~~~WHAT IS THERE TO DO IS EYAM?

                I must say that I've only been to Eyam during the day so I can't comment on the night-time facilities. Mind you, there IS only one pub in the village, so I doubt it is the party capital of Derbyshire! Eyam's charm comes from the lovely cottages and the tourist trade.

                There are quite a few holiday cottages, camp sites and B&Bs in the area (there is a Youth Hostel too) and the place is often packed with visitors during the summer months. There is also a yearly village show and Well Dressings also take place here and all over the Peak District.

                Most visitors come to the village because of its association with the Bubonic Plague epidemic that started in London in 1665 ~ Eyam was touched greatly by this outbreak of disease.
                Stories of the heroism and selflessness of the villagers is legendary and whole families died and were buried in the village churchyard and in nearby fields or near their homes. They imposed a quarantine zone around the village (food and supplies were left at the boundaries) so they did not pass the disease onto other places. When the plague finally died out 260 people had died ~ when you see how small Eyam is you will realise what a terrible impact that had on the population.

                Eyam now relies mainly on the tourist industry, but in the past it was known for other industries, such as silk and cotton making, quarrying for limestone, agriculture (sheep farming is still in evidence) and lead mining. This is true of many Peak District villages ~ including Ashford in the Water.

                There are lots of things to see in the village (some relating to the Plague and some not) and the main places of interest in Eyam are:

                ***Eyam Hall***

                Eyam Hall is in the middle of the village and dates from the 17th Century. It is a lovely, and rather imposing, Manor House that is home to the Wright family (and has been so for 300 or so years).
                I went with a friend one year (Yvonne ~werewolf on Ciao) at Christmas time and we had mulled wine, mince pies and carol singing in the hall (which was beautifully decorated for the festive season)...it was lovely!

                The Hall also houses a tea room, gift shop and a craft centre. We had a lovely time there ~ we bought some nice gifts and enjoyed looking in the Hall itself...the gardens are pretty and the tapestry room is well worth a look.

                ***Eyam Museum***

                You will recognise the museum by its distinctive weather vane on the roof. It depicts a rat ~ the main cause of the spreading of the Plague. Many of the displays relate to this famous event, but there are other exhibits of local interest too. We even saw an exhibition about the history of underwear!

                The museum is open from late March to the beginning of November each year and stays open from 10 til 4.30 each day. It's really quite reasonable to get in (check for current preices because the new season is just starting) and well worth it!!

                The museum is near the coach park and public car park (this is also where you'll find the public toilets...very useful information!) ~ So if you are on an organised day trip you will find it very easily.

                ***St. Lawrence's Church***

                The church is the main focal point of the village and has been standing since the 12th Century. There has been a church on the site since before then and there has since been extensive restoration. Much of this took place during the 19th Century, including the widening of the North Aisle and the addition of a porch.

                The main things to look out for in the church are the sundial on the wall, a Saxon Cross, a magnificent Jacobean pulpit, some very old bells and (the main draw for visitors) a display on the Plague and the history of the village. The churchyard has loads of graves of the victims of the plague and monuments to some of the notable villagers ~ look out for the Mompesson family who were very important in the 17th Century.

                ***Water Troughs***

                Around the village look out for 12 stone troughs ~ these are part of the old water supply of the village. They were linked to those springs I mentioned earlier and gave the village one of the first public water supplies in the country (this all dates back to the late 16th Century). I remember visiting Eyam when I was at school and the troughs were on a checklist of things we had to spot during our day out.

                ***Plague Cottages***

                The pretty old cottages in Eyam are a real draw for visitors. It sounds a bit ghoulish but these were the homes to many of the people who dies during the Plague ~ there are plaques on the walls to commemorate these deaths and to read how many members of each family dies is a little upsetting. Please remember when you are looking round and taking photos that some of these houses are people's homes and be respectful around their property.

                ***The Miner's Arms***

                This is the only pub in the village (that sounded VERY Little Britain!)! This nice pub dates from 1630 and has a reputation of being one of the most haunted buildings in the county ~ it DOES have quite a good atmosphere and I did have a really funny feeling about the place!

                The pub was once the Barmote Court ~ the place where Lead Miners settled any disputes. The Miners does food, nice beer and also offers B&B. As it is the only place to get a drink it does get pretty busy, especially in the summer, so I would advise you to ring up and book if you want a meal.

                ***Final Thoughts***

                Eyam is a lovely village that has managed to preserve its historical identity and retains a good community feel despite being a major tourist attraction. It is in a beautiful part of the world ~ the surrounding Eyam Moor offers magnificent views of the Derwent Valley, which has connections with the Bronze Age.

                Every time I visit Eyam I am always touched by the stories of the plague and love looking around the craft shops and beautiful buildings. Although it is better to visit on a dry day there are still quite a few indoor activities for a rainy day ~ such as the museum, the Hall, Craft Centre and church.

                I am guilty of not visiting as often as I should, but I try to get there once a year to have a look around and soak up the atmosphere. It is a really haunting place with a lot of life too! A top place for a day out or a great base for a holiday in the Peak District!

                ~~~USEFUL NUMBERS.
                Eyam Hall
                Hope Valley
                S32 5QW
                Tel: 01433 631976

                Eyam Museum
                Hawkhill Road
                Hope Valley
                Tel. 0 1433 631371.
                Bakewell Tourist Information Centre (THIS IS THE NEAREST T.I. TO EYAM)
                Old Market Hall
                Bridge Street
                Bakewell DE45 1DS
                01629 813227

                Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre
                Rykneld Square
                S40 1SB
                01246 345777/8


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