|Plague Cottages, Eyam Village|
Eyam village in the Peak District National Park has an amazing but sad history. In 1665 one of the residents of this row of cottages, George Viccars a tailor, sent for some cloth from London. The cloth arrived somewhat damp and was hung in front of the fire to dry out. The heat activated the fleas carrying the plague virus from London, in the grip of the Bubonic Plague at the time. Within days the man that had sent for the clothes was dead. Over the next days several more succumbed and it became obvious that this wasn't just a normal disease epidemic. The Rector of the village, Rev. William Mompesson, persuaded the villagers to put themselves into a form of quarantine from the surrounding area to avoid the spread of the plague. Over the following months 260 of the 350 residents of the village died from the plague, including Mompesson's wife, Katherine.
Today the village is a thriving and attractive place but its dark history is still remembered.