We saw a map in Eyam which mentioned the Cucklet Church, an outdoor rock formation that was used for religious services when it was felt wise not to use the church to avoid the spread of the plague. We weren’t entirely sure what to expect, although a family picnicking pointed us towards the rocks where the services were held.
Families could socially distance within the rocks, and also on the open ground amphitheatre type arrangement on the edge of the valley (known as the delph), which helpfully enabled social distancing. Everything in history comes around in circles….
William Mompesson, the local priest, was one of the key figures who managed to stop some of the villagers fleeing to Sheffield to avoid the plague in Eyam, which would have only caused the disease to spread. He led the services at these rocks, apparently designed to try and inspire the residents during some trying times.
Some photos of the rocks….
And a photo from 1896.