story of plague begins in the entrance hall, where
a pictorial description of events in London in
1665 is to be seen. The mural begins with plague
infested rats leaving ships at the docks, and continues
details of the reactions of the population to the
ravages of the disease. It was painted exclusively
for Eyam Museum by local artist Jim Ford.
following panels describe the nature of the bubonic
plague (black rats bearing fleas, which in turn
carry the deadly bacilli) and its spread and effect
upon human populations from biblical times (eg.
Ancient Egypt) to the Middle Ages (The Black Death),
and on to the mid-17th century. London was the largest
European city to suffer an outbreak, of which the
deaths in Eyam were a by-product.
story of the Eyam outbreak begins at Panel
7, with facsimiles from the Parish Register, wills,
and other documents of the time. A 3-D display shows
the moment when the fleas bearing the bacilli were
released from the cloth in the tailor's cottage.
The answers to the puzzle that has occupied students
of the Eyam story appear on the adjoining panel,
and are the result of recent research.
Eyam Plague story continues to the right of the
archway into the new Eyam Connections Room, where
a diversion can be made. Opened in March 2012, it
will be used for temporary displays with local themes.
A series of panels describes some of the earliest
evidence of human life in the area, explains the
name "Eyam" (place between streams), and describes
the geological structure that promoted a supply
of water and mineral deposits.
your left is a display on 17th century medicine,
and an array of early medical instruments. Some
of the facts are gruesome, but some you may find
ahead a digital presentation, "Eyam then and
now" shows how the village has changed over
the past 100 years, and the far wall is occupied
by two pictures painted at Stoney Middleton in the
1890s, with modern comparisons.
story of the plague continues. A series of panels
on the stairs show various remedies for the Plague,
many of which sound strange to us now. There is
also a panel describing the dreadful symptoms of
details and anecdotes of the Eyam Plague are to
be found on the first floor. A display shows the
rectors, Stanley and Mompesson, in the study
at the old rectory (now partly replaced by a more
modern building) with some of the furniture that
actually belonged there, and a further scene depicts
the last hours of a plague victim.
arrangements made by the rectors to quarantine Eyam,
preventing wholesale infection of surrounding towns
and villages, are described, with an indication
of survival as well as the total death toll. A chart
shows the households known to have suffered plague
deaths, and their relationship to each other through
kinship. The story of bubonic plague after 1666
- mercifully less disturbing - is indicated on the
final panels on this floor.
second staircase leads back to the ground floor,
and the Recovery.