Last weekend, I paid a visit to the village of Eyam in the Peak District. Eyam's story is a sad but inspiring one. When the Black Death ravaged our land in 1665, it reached this tiny village during the killer month of August. Eyam's inhabitants took the courageous decision to isolate themselves from the outside world to prevent the disease spreading further. It was an unseasonably warm, sunny day when I explored this peaceful hamlet; it made the story of those terrible days somehow feel unreal. The gravestones, however, are grim reminders of the families' suffering. Elizabeth Hancock lost six children as well as her husband.
The sundial (left) on the wall of Eyam Church dates from the 1770s. The Plague Year was a long distant memory when it was erected. But the story of Eyam's heroism will never be forgotten.
Text and image © Sue Wilkes.