S I L K C O T T A G E
E Y A M, P E A K D I S T R I C T
Eyam is situated in the heart of the Peak District, in fact Eyam Edge marks the ‘boundary’ between the Dark and White Peak area. A popular destination for historians, tourists, walkers, and other outdoor pursuit enthusiasts, it is the ideal base for your stay in the Peak District.
The village boasts several tea shops, a pub (3 more pubs are within walking distance of the village, don’t worry!), village shop and a post office -
Heading out from the village, to all points of the compass, are walks for all levels of walker. Other outdoor pursuits are available in the surrounding areas (see the Activities page for a small selection).
You are within a short driving distance of Bakewell, Castleton, Hope, Hathersage, Great Hucklow, Grindleford, Stoney Middleton, to name but a few. So, whatever you are looking to get from your holiday or short break in the Peak District, Eyam is the perfect location.
BUBONIC PLAGUE, BLACK DEATH
It raged in biblical Asia, the Roman Empire, and swept across Europe from the 14th century onwards, when people cursed it as the ‘Black Death’. At this time and three hundred years later, it also raged in Britain, when it claimed the lives of almost a third of the country’s population.
EYAM, THE PLAGUE VILLAGE
Eyam attracts attention due to the tragic epidemic of Bubonic Plague in the middle of the 17th century. Bubonic Plague has been described as the ‘most dangerous disease known to mankind’ and has killed more souls than all the wars fought between the nations of the world.
Writing in the 1920’s, H.V. Morton said ‘In the quiet Derbyshire village of Eyam, men still talk about the Plague of London as thought it happened last week’. It is much the same today and the main reason why people visit is to pay tribute in some way to a tragic story of human gallantry which will never be forgotten.
The Plague was brought from London in 1665 in a consignment of clothes resulting in the death of five out of every six inhabitants within a few months.
William Mompesson was the newly appointed rector of Eyam and, with his predecessor, Thomas Stanley, he persuaded the villagers to enter voluntary quarantine, bury their own dead and even worship outdoors to limit the spread of disease, The church and the churchyard were closed and the dead were buried in the fields in hastily constructed graves.
The two clergeymen ensured that the village survived the next few months and that the Plague was not spread to the surrounding areas. Services were conducted in a dell from a lofty rock, since called ‘Cucklett Church’, where an annual Commemoration Service is now held on the last Sunday in August.