Sunday, 14 February 2016

Half Term History

Half term has been restful and relaxing, which was just what we all needed. And waking up naturally without the warning shriek of an alarm was the biggest treat of all.

We went to Eyam on Thursday, a lovely little village in Derbyshire (pronounced Eem, by the way) made famous by the villagers' actions in 1665. 

The bubonic plague arrived, carried by fleas in a bolt of cloth sent from London. The villagers, led by the Reverend William Mompesson, agreed to a self-imposed quarantine to prevent the spread of the disease to other areas, and in the ensuing year, over 260 people died. 

(Tania visited the village last year and wrote this post about it.)

The church dates back to the 13th century, although the late Saxon font and Celtic cross in the graveyard suggest an earlier church existed on the same site. 

The wall paintings are from the 18th century. 

The modern stained glass window tells the story of the plague in Eyam. William's wife Catherine is the only plague victim to be buried in the churchyard; others were buried quickly and without ceremony in gardens and on nearby farmland.

The cross is 8th Century, and the sundial on the side of the church is dated 1775.

The village is pretty, with plenty of stone cottages, a village green complete with stocks, and a late 17th century hall.

They enjoyed it, honestly - take no notice of the face-pulling... 

Before we left, we took a walk out of the village to the so-called Riley graves. The land was owned by a farmer named Riley, but the people buried here are John Hancock and 6 of his children. They all died within a week of each other in August 1666, and it fell to John's wife Elizabeth to bury them. 

It's a beautiful spot, but such a sad story.

Some colour was needed to counteract the gloom;

1970s dress - Ebay
Vintage scarf, cardigan and bangles - charity shopped
Boots - retail, sale. 

I'll join Patti and co for Visible Monday, and catch up with your posts before I launch myself into a busy week at work in my new shop - wish me luck!



SAM said...

rich and sad history-thank you for writing about your visit. Love the pop of color-would you call that crimson? I am vowing to not buy new clothes until I lose a few pounds and take advantage of what is already in my closet, but I am making an exception to replace a pair of jeans, the second in just four months to succumb to splitting in unfortunate places, and a wide brown belt. Day off tomorrow for US Presidents Day so going to hit a Salvation Army and a Goodwill thrift shop to see if any luck.

Melanie said...

Good luck with the new shop :)
Love the stocks picture, bring then back I say! Nothing like a bit of public humiliation!

Unknown said...

Such and interesting place. Sad but interesting. The dress is quite pretty and looks very springy. And your kids are great actors, I can feel the pain! :)

Sheila said...

Good luck! What a fascinating bit of history - gorgeous pics!

Porcelina said...

I love these historical mini-tours - keep 'em coming! xx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

You look so elegant Curtise and such a lovely colour combination - red and blue.

Eyam looks fascinating and I'll have to visit one day.I've read lots about it.

Ours are on half term this week so no school run for me - thank goodness!

Good luck with the new shop - I wish we had a decent vintage shop in Bedord....sigh


Lakota [Faith Hope and Charity Shopping] said...

I remember reading a children's book about that village about 30 years ago - it was called 'A parcel of Patterns' and has stayed with me all this time. Dreadful to think of burying member after member of your family.

Lovely outfit again though, we can tell you're a blogger as you braved taking your coat off just for pics! (We visited Hughenden today and it was absolutely nobbling!)

Goody said...

How did I know I would scroll down and see a picture of your kids in the stocks? You know, they can't get the true, "living history" experience if you don't yell and toss things at them.

Best of luck to you with the shop (not that you need it). How exciting to be starting out on something from the ground up.

You found that beautiful dress online? Good score!

Melanie said...

LUCK LUCK LUCK coming at you, Curtise. Express! I know you'll quickly have everything under control. How exciting. Take chocolate.
You look fabulous. As do the wee ones in the stocks. Poor dears.
The history there is jaw-dropping. I think the only things that old here are earthen mounds somewhere or other. And anything wooden and brick and stone and old and beautiful is sure to be bulldozed. Heh. I'm so cynical today.
The plague. Yes. Bad times. Beautiful buildings remaining. And a lesson in there, kind of like, hey, you scientists, please don't resurrect that plague.

Kylie said...

Hi Curtise,

You put those poor kiddos in the stocks so you could go to the pub, didn't you?!
Two weeks one day into a new term here - only eight more weeks until I'm on hols again :)


Mim said...

Good luck with the new shop this week - think of all the lovely things you'll send off to be loved by new owners!

Eyam must be a sobering place to visit. Though that skeleton painting is fab. I wonder how people who live there feel?

Jazzy Jack said...

The shop...finally!
Go Curtise!
You will be fine.
Very sad plague history in a beautiful spot.
All the best tomorrow /today?
Xo Jazzy Jack

Ivana Split said...

what a lovely village! I really enjoyed browsing these photographs and reading a bit about its history, especially that part about the church....and such a beautiful church it is. History often moves me, and as I discover old stories, I see what a wonder life is...always so sad but at the same time so beautiful.

I do really like your floral dress and the way you paired it with those camel boots is fabulously stylish....and the blazer is simply perfect. you look great!

Vix said...

We've driven past Eyam often but never stopped, I remember Tania's post and your makes it look equally as enthralling.
That dress is fab, the print reminds me of those fab Horrockses' skirts you gave Tania & I over a slap-up 'Spoons lunch.
Are those your new Hush Puppies? They're ace!
Sending loads and loads of good luck with the shop!
Love you! xxxxx

Bobbi said...

Good luck with the shop! I'm sure you'll be amazing.
Eyam is such a beautiful place with such a sad history. Thanks for sharing your day.

Suzanne said...

Best of luck at the new shop!

I do miss the wonderful rich history of England. I'm sure it felt like you were walking in the steps of ghosts there.


Forest City Fashionista said...

Such a pretty little village, with such a sad history. Last year I read a novel about the plague in Eyam that used a fictional character, a young woman who became a housekeeper for the Reverend Mompesson, to narrate the story. I wish I could remember the author, or the book title, as it was very good.

Even though you won't need it, I will wish you lots of luck at the new job this week. We will eagerly be waiting for your first report!

Lynn Holland said...

What a pretty place Eyam looks and lots of history. Your outfit is lovely, I'm going to try sporting red, blue and my tan boots together after seeing you in yours.
We both wish you the best of luck in the new shop. You'll knock em dead with your great styling and knowledge of clothes.
Enjoy it
Love Lynn xxx

Mrs Bertimus said...

Thank you for sharing, your posts are always choc full of interesting history.
Wishing you all the best in your new job, it will be so brilliant! X

Lisa said...

Whenever I see posts on blogs about this village I try and think about what it must have been like for those poor people and I fail each time because it must have just been so heart wrenchingly awful.
Glad that half term was fun for all.
Love the dress, it's very pretty in all it floralness.
Lisa x

Natalia Lialina said...

Best of luck!!!!!
I am so glad you had a chance to wake up naturally for a while (it is a gift for sure) and spend time with your lovely kids, visiting such interesting, beautiful places, full of history. Your photography is always top notch, and so are your posts, Curtise - you have a neck for telling stories of every day life in a compelling way. I can imagine myself walking there with you guys and learning the history of your beautiful country. Thank you, it really was a treat!

Unknown said...

Always great storys and Photos, and you are suck a gorgeous lady!

Fiona said...

Thank you for taking us to Eyam again Curtise.(yes I remember Tania's post) Such history in that village and church, I am always awe stricken to find monuments and paintings that date back hundreds or thousand of years in everyday places.
Fab colourful outfit... just the thing for these bloody miserable days we've been having for months on end.
How's it going in the shop so far? Sending lots of luck and hoping it will be a tremendous success. xxxxx

Miss Magpie said...

If you get the chance read year of Wonders it's fiction but based on Eyam, it's a great book.

God you're brave going outside without a coat! have lots of fun in the new shop x x

Beth Waltz said...

What a splendid tale of courage, loss and perserverence! Timely, too, one fears. There are pandemics abroad in our modern world, and the option of self-imposed quarantines is still being debated. Your kids are fortunate to have a mum who makes field-trips relevant.

Looking forward to your reports on worklife in the new shop! What will you wear?

Patti said...

Best of luck in your new shop, Curtise! You won't need luck, you're so smart and creative. Wish I could shop there once a week! xo


Ivana Split said...

thank you for your visit dear.

The Vintage Knitter said...

What a fascinating place, anything about the plague fascinates me. We have local places too where plague victims were supposedly buried. I love the look of 'Plague Cottage', such gorgeous coloured stone. Good luck with the new shop too! xx

bahnwärterin said...

i would like to do such a trip too! history, nature and beautiful sights!!!! thanx for taking us with you!
nice of the community to provide a place were one can park the kids ;-P
wonderful spring-like ensemble you´r wearing! how perfectly that scarf matches!!!

Unknown said...

Looks like a beautiful village I cant imagine what John Hancocks wife must have been feeling to burry her husband and 6 children poor women how must she have carried on such a sad story. Love your outfit today you look gorgeous, dee xx

Ivy Black said...

Lovely place and such a sad story. I do find the plague interesting mainly because of the tales of fortitude and people being incredible in the face of such terror. We have the 'plague pits' outside of Winch...or we did until they drove the M3 through them. I do love an ancient church too.
Love your outfit- properly bright and cheery to conteract this weather.
Loads of luck with th enew shop. It's going to be bloody brilliant!
Loves ya.

Trees said...

What a fascinating place to visit, that story is terribly sad though. Waking up with the sun is pretty great, it always makes it easier to get up!

freckleface said...

How lovely, you went to Eyam. Great place for a day out. Bet the kids loved it. I'm impressed you went for a walk out to the graves, I still want to do that. I'm just recovering from the plague myself, hence my late arrival, but thanks for waiting. You look gorgeous as always and I'm so excited that the moment has arrived. Really hope the first week or so has lived up to your dreams. I wish you all the luck Xxxxx