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Introducing Eyam

The former lead-mining village of Eyam (ee-em) is a quaint little spot with a morbidly touching history. In 1665 a consignment of cloth from London delivered to a local tailor carried the dreaded Black Death plague. What could have been a widespread disaster remained a localized tragedy thanks to the bravery of the village inhabitants: as the plague spread, the rector, William Mompesson, and his predecessor Thomas Stanley, convinced villagers to quarantine themselves rather than transmit the disease further. Selflessly, they did so; by the time the plague ended in late 1666, it had wiped out whole families, killing around 250 of the village’s 800 inhabitants. People in surrounding villages remained relatively unscathed. Even independently of this poignant story, Eyam is well worth a visit; its sloping streets of old cottages backed by rolling green hills form a classic postcard view of the Peak District.