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Eyam History


The Plague Village which became the Athens of the Peak

Eyam (pronounced Ee'm) is perhaps the most well documented and most famous of all Derbyshire's villages, and is located in relative isolation deep in the heart of the Derbyshire Peak District, surrounded by a rugged landscape of limestone hills and dales.
The inhabitants are justifiably proud of their village and it's place in history for Eyam is known famously as the "˜Plague Village' - and thousands of visitors flock here every year from all over the world, fascinated by the valiant story of sacrifice which the village has to tell.

The Eyam Plague Story
The story begins in September 1665 when a contaminated parcel of cloth from London was delivered to the lodgings of travelling tailor George Viccars.
Within three days Viccars was dead and the Bubonic Plague, which was decimating London's vast population, began to spread through the village.
Over half the population fled, including the local Squire, named Bradshaw and his family, but around 350 remained in the village trusting to God and providence.

In an attempt to stop the spread of the disease to other villages, the rector William Mompesson aided by his Duckmanton-born Puritan colleague Thomas Stanley, called upon the remaining villagers to impose a self-regulated quarantine and the people agreed to what for many of them would become a death sentence.