Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Eyam: Pronouned Eam as in Stream

We woke up to sun and blue skies this morning so a visit to Eyam was definitely on the cards. 

It took us about an hour to drive there. This is Eyam Museum, placed in a perfect position directly opposite the car park. We'd planned to have a look around but our day trip coincided with a school trip and a whole group of children were making their way in just as we arrived so we decided to give it a miss.
Instead we walked down the lane and within 2 minutes look what I'd found. Yes, the ever elusive elderflower.
A little further on and we came to the village green complete with stocks. 
Just opposite the village green is a small row of cottages where the first victim of the plague died. Poor George Viccars,  the unfortunate tailor who opened the package of material which the flea was in, lived here. 
There are signs in each of these gardens listing the names of everybody who lived in the cottages and died. In fact there are signs on houses and in gardens all over the village naming the dead.
Eyam church is beautiful inside and out but we only had a quick peek in because we found ourselves in the middle of another school excursion.
To be honest I think Mark was glad he was surrounded by all these school children. It meant he didn't have to stand in one place too long with me while I read all the information boards. Instead we walked into the village centre...
And did something much more up his street. We chose a cafe...
... and sat outside drinking tea and eating toasted teacakes and sausage muffins.
Then we decided we'd really like to find Mompesson's Well which was the place where food and medicines were left for the villagers to collect without having to come into contact with anybody.
 We walked up a lane into the woods
Across fields of buttercups and daisies
Found ourselves face to face with these gorgeous alpacas
 And took in the breathtaking beauty of the Derbyshire countryside.
 But no matter how hard we tried we couldn't find that well. We did find this though which was really touching. It's impossible to imagine burying a husband and 6 children in one week. And the fascinating thing about a lot of the signs is how so many people in one house died yet one or two would survive, completely unaffected by the plague.
Anyway, time had moved on pretty quickly by now. I'm sure we walked 10 miles looking for that well so we had to make our way back to the car and head home for Thomas.

And would you believe it, no word of a lie, on a road out, high above the village we spotted this. A sign for Mompesson's Well!
 And here it is. The 'boundary' and 'drop off point' set up all those years ago which prevented the plague from spreading out of the village. It was a little underwhelming to be honest. A bit scruffy and unkempt and considering it's a major part of the village history you'd think they'd spend an hour or two keeping it clean.
Mind you Mark reckons it's that high up and that far from the village that people probably give up trying to find it. His other theory is that only half the people who died actually had the plague, the other half died of malnutrition and exhaustion trying to get to the well to pick the food up.

I have to say I think he might be on to something and that the villagers of Eyam might be having a little 'touristy joke'. That signpost with 1km on is way off the mark and my aching shins can vouch for that.



  1. What a wonderful place to go! It's now on my to do list ! I find Thais sort of stuff fascinating! And I too have to put up with the huffing n puffing of the HG as I read and devour every single sign!

  2. Oh, you'll have to go Rachel. It was really interesting and I didn't properly see half of what there was there. The church, the museum, the hall, etc. Really Mark should not be taken along to anything like this but I'm not a confident driver so he happily takes me - the drive is his favourite part - then I feel I have to 'rush' through it all because even though he doesn't moan I know it's not really his thing. Ah well, at least I got to go. xx

    1. We should go together!! Oh and today is most definitely 'pink'!!!

    2. It's a date. Maybe we should set up a 'husband's not really interested' group. Glad to hear you're in the pink. xx

  3. such a beautiful place. I've been to Buxton in Derbyshire, and that was gorgeous too. Glad you got to find the well eventually!

    You were right to try and give the school trip kids the swerve. Having been on a few of Violet's school trips and seen first hand how 'excitable' (!) they get, a gaggle of kids overjoyed at not being in school should be avoided at all costs!

    That café looks so good.

    Yey to finding the elusive elderflowers! Did you take some home?

  4. That well became a mission for Mark. He hates being beaten by anything lol. I'm more laid back but was very glad we stumbled across it.

    Yes I've done a few school trips in the past. They're fun until you get one teacher who fancies a day off and the 'naughties' end up in your group.

    I didn't bring any elderflowers home. I've sort of given up on the whole idea this year. xx

  5. I am so glad that you shared your day out. I have read of this village and would love to see it in person but as that seems unlikely it was nice to go along with you. You were right to avoid the school group. I don't think it is fun for anyone but the children and their minders. I was a "parent volunteer" on many, many trips and while I really enjoyed it I always felt badly for other that were visiting while a huge group of kids were there.

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed the trip and you know what they say, never say never! If you knocked on Number 38 we'd happily accommodate you. The children were having a great time, they'd been given quiz sheets so were desperately trying to find the answers in church and were a bit excitable so we left them to it. I take my hat off to teachers and volunteers on day trips. The organisation and responsibility means it would be much easier for them not to bother going, but they still do. xx