Bishop’s Visit – Eyam Village (the Plague Village)

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Eyam is an English village in the Derbyshire Dales district that lies within the Peak District National Park. The village is noted for an outbreak of bubonic plague which occurred there in 1665, in which the villagers chose to isolate themselves rather than let the infection spread. The present village was founded and named by Anglo-Saxons, although lead had been mined in the area by the Romans. Formerly industrial, its economy now relies on the tourist trade and it is promoted as ‘the plague village’.

Our visit was marred by wet weather and cold. My investigations proved to be flawed as most of the attractions had closed for the Winter. We drove into the village amidst mist and drizzle, parking opposite Eyam Hall. The stable area had been converted into a visitors centre and some speciality shops but the Hall had closed after the Xmas fete last week. Still we were able to sample the local cheese and check out how a local joiner reuses timber. From there we visited the plague house with their sombre plaques reporting those who died from the plague and the church which was the centre of the resistance against the spread of the plague. Not a lot more to see until March when the weather should be warmer and brighter.

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