This is Eyam Hall, one of the more recent acquisitions to the National Trust portfolio and home to the Wright family for around 300 years. We didn’t go in, we had too much else to see in Eyam when we visited.
It looks a bit stark though. It is a Jacobean property and has a craft centre attached to it. Apparently inside it has things like a collection of toys from the 1860s onwards and domestic memorabilia from times past. Another time maybe.
For such a tiny place there is a lot to see at Eyam. The plague history (see yesterday’s post) obviously makes up a lot of the things to see. But there is more.
This beautiful Celtic cross is in the churchyard at St Lawrence’s, near Catherine Mompesson’s tomb. It is believed to be from the 8th century and thought to have originally stood at the side of a cart track near Eyam before being moved to the churchyard.
Still in the churchyard, there is an absolutely gorgeous sundial which, according to the wall plaque, dates from 1775. These would not be a lot of good now really, we haven’t had enough sun in the UK for the last year or so, we’d never know what the time was!
At the top it records the names of the two church wardens of the time William Lee and Thomas Froggatt (there are lots of Froggatt’s on the headstones in the churchyard).
Under that it has a number of places listed in a semi-circle. When the shadow falls on that place name it is noon there.
Why would villagers in a tiny village in the Derbyshire Peak District in 1775 need to know when it was noon in Mexico, Panama, Quebec, Bermuda, Rome, Constantinople, Jerusalem, Mecca, Ispahan (which I had to look up and is, I discovered, in Iran) and Calicut-Surat? London I can understand … just. I am curious as to why it was felt they needed to know the others though.
But the Latin inscription at the top Induce Animum Sapientem means cultivate an enquiring mind (I looked it up) so someone obviously wanted the population to broaden their horizons and I would never argue with that. Note to self: learn Latin, it would be extremely useful.
Maybe if they didn’t, they would be thrown in here? Four- hole stocks for wrists and ankles. We found five-hole stocks in Oakham – head in the middle, ankles either side and wrists either side of that I presume. I tried to persuade Man to pose. He didn’t think he was that flexible :).
The Eyam and Stoney Middleton Society for the Prosecution of Felons was responsible for many a person being stuck in Eyam’s stocks. I was very amused to read that the society still meets today. Eyam also once had a Cow Club. I’d like to be a member of a Cow Club, but I suppose I would have to own a cow first.
And behind the museum, which is the building with the green doors, there is the collapsing ruin of a Tudor manor house.
There is a different surprise around every corner in this tiny little place and I am really glad we visited.