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the beauty that is... Eyam village
Eyam Village (Derbyshire, England)
Member Name: blissman70
Eyam Village (Derbyshire, England)
Advantages: gorgeous scenery and a memorable palce to visit
Disadvantages: too many new houses being built
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 )
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...
Summary: The plague has never been so beautiful