We walked through the village, watching the changing expressions of visitors as the full horror of the plague story hit home. From the mildly curious to the stark shock of those who aligned themselves with the story for a moment, it was interesting to observe those who merely skimmed the history from an emotional distance and those for whom empathy made it personal. It is difficult to keep the story at bay if you open yourself to what people experienced, rather than seeing them just as characters on the page of history.
Central to the story of the villagers’ response to the plague in 1665 was the church, even though all services were soon moved to a nearby field to try and prevent the spread of the disease, and it was there that we were heading.
There has been a church in Eyam since before the records of its incumbents…
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