Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Eyam Well Dressing

Despite living only half an hour from Eyam, I haven't been in nearly 22 years-since my 10th birthday which was spent on a residential week in Edale with school. I really didn't want to go but the headteacher came over to our house and persuaded my mum to let me go. I told the children about this today and they were mortified, haha! Piper saying how special 10th birthdays are and Bailey questioning what I would do if it had happened to him. Difficult to compare really and I'm pretty sure my mum only did it because she thought it was in my best interests.

 We timed it rather well actually as it is the villages' well dressing festival. I read about well dressings a while ago and wanted to go last year but we never got around to it. Today was such a lovely, sunny day. We were supposed to be in Wales this week on our first home education camp but sadly the weather was dreadful and we've all had our fill of rainy camping after Glastonbury and Devon in June. So we are having the week at home instead and "home educating Daddy" this week :-D So far so good, yesterday we took him around MOSI which he loved and its inspired a trip for a new visit at the end of the week too, which we are all looking forwards to.

 Not sure any of us would like to see the revolving sheep roast this coming Saturday...
 Little Miss Muffet, sat on her tuffet
 Jack and the Beanstalk
The Queen, parachuting into the village for the well dressings

Back to today and hubby took several photo's of some of the village decorations, my personal favourite was the parachuting Queen.... As we pulled up into the car park we saw five handgliders taking off, it looked fantastic with the blue sky in the background, should have taken a photo really, they reminded me of hot air balloons which I love! We walked around the plague cottages and read the plaques on each of the cottage. The girls thought it was very sad how young some of the children were and how in three cases the mother was the sole survivor of the household. The girls and Bailey already knew quite a bit about the "Black Death" so it was interesting for them and they enjoyed recounting things they had read or seen on Horrible Histories. We had a look around the graveyard and read some of the gravestones, sad to see how so many of them have been neglected over the years. We went into the church and had a look at the official register of deaths book from 1665-1666. Bailey commented on how many more people died during July and August in comparison to the other months, the last person in the village died in November 1666.

 The sundial, built in the eighteenth century, time was spot on at 1.30 pm
Celtic Cross from the 8th century standing in the churchyard

We had a walk up to the Riley Graves, passing a coughing horse on the way, which Cordelia thought was adorable. The graves are for the Hancock family, over just 8 days Elisabeth Hancock buried her husband and six children. They are buried on such a beautiful site, it was very humbling. It total 260 residents died in fourteen months, when you see the size of the actual village it really brings it home how awful it must have been.

 On the way back down from the graves we stopped to look at the two well dressings, one created by the village children aged 5-15 years caught the children's eye because it had a hobbit house and a horse! We are big fans of the Hobbit here and eagerly awaiting the film in December.