Eyam

credit-karen-frenkel-eyam

Very popular with visitors, Eyam is famous as the "Plague Village". It is a fascinating, historical place with a lively feel to it.

5 miles north of Bakewell, this is a village with a lot to offer. A walk around Eyam can be like stepping back in time, especially to the events of 1665-66 when the plague was brought form London to this tiny Peakland community. Information boards at strategic points tell the story and give the details of the families who were so tragically affected. Key places in the story to visit are the church of St Lawrence, Plague Cottages, Cucklet Delf and, just out of the village, the Riley Graves and Mompesson's Well.

In the centre of the village is the charming 17th century Manor House, Eyam Hall, which was built just after the plague and owned by the Wright family for more than 300 years.

Next to the hall lies a courtyard containing craft workshops, gift shop and Buttery in the converted barns. Opposite the hall are the village stocks. They were chiefly used by the Barmote Court in Eyam which presided over the wrong-doings of local lead miners.

The church of St Lawrence dates back to Saxon times and has a font of Saxon origins and Norman pillars, which are thought to rest on Saxon foundations. The oldest and most striking feature of the churchyard is the eighth-century Celtic Cross. One of the best preserved examples in the country, it is decorated with a mixture of Christian and pagan symbols and may have originally been a wayside preaching cross.

Things to do; Well Dressings and Carnival Week are held annually in late August to early September. Eyam Hall is open to the public on certain days and the Craft Centre throughout the year. The Eyam Museum opens March to November in summer and tells the full story of the plague. There are tearooms and a good inn for refreshments. From the Hawkhill Road car park take the road up The Edge, or follow a good footpath towards Sir William Hill, where you can find Mompesson's Well and the Barrel Inn, the highest in Derbyshire, with fantastic panoramic views.