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Isolation • Eyam Hall • Eyam Village • Plague Memorial

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Eyam is perhaps best known for its selfless decision to self-isolate in order to prevent the spread of the plague.

 In 1665, the bubonic plague reached Eyam, a small, lead-mining village.  In an attempt to halt the onward spread of the contagion, the villagers volunteered to quarantine themselves.  They were successful; no-one in the surrounding area was infected by the villagers.  However, they paid a terrible price.  By the summer of 1666, when the plague lifted, almost three hundred had died, three-quarters of the population.  Entire families lie together in strangely intimate walled enclosures dotted around the village as victims were buried, not in the churchyard, but in their own fields or gardens. On the boundaries of the village lie large stones with holes drilled out, in which the villagers placed coins in pools of vinegar in payment for goods which were deposited in their absence, rather like the on-line grocery deliveries of 2020.

Each year on the last Sunday in August, a memorial service is held in the outdoor "church" where the villagers had gathered centuries earlier (at a discrete social distance).

However, there is a lot more to Eyam than its plague history, although don't let that stop you buying the photo book on the publications page.

 A beautiful place surrounded by equally lovely countryside.

Isolation Eyam Hall Eyam village Plague Memorial

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Jeremy Harrison 2005-2020