Eyam - the Plague Village

Castleton to Eyam

Eyam was badly affected by the Great Plague of 1665 even though the disease is most associated with its impact on London. The sacrifices made by the villages of Eyam may well have saved cities in northern England from the worst of the plague. At the time of the plague, the village had a population of about 350. In the summer of 1665, the village tailor received a parcel containing the fleas that caused the plague. The tailor was dead from the plague within one week of receiving his parcel. The village church leader - William Mompesson persuaded the villagers to cut themselves off from the outside world to quarantine themselves even though it would mean death for many of them. People, from outside the village, brought supplies and left them at the parish stones, the villagers left money sterilised in vinegar to pay for the food. By November 1666, the plague was considered at an end, 260 out of 350 had died.

WALK A (11.5 miles) From Castleton we follow the Limestone Way up Cave Dale, passing Peveril Castle on leaving the dale we meet a junction of paths. Here the A and B walks split. The A walk heads to an area of extensive mine workings and Conies Dale then briefly along Oxlow Rake before turning to The Cop. We cross Tideswell Moor and then along the top of Tideslow Rake before going through the woods at High Rake. Route now takes us to Silly Dale then onto the village of Eyam

WALK B (8.5 miles) We leave the Limestone Way to cross Old Moor on old mining tracks. The route now takes through the beautiful Derbyshire villages of Little Hucklow, Great Hucklow, Grindlow and Foolow to Eyam.

WALK C (5.5 miles) From Wardle Mires we walk Silly Dale to Great Hucklow, then the hamlet of Bretton before joining Sir William Hill Road (track) and down into Eyam.