Saturday, 17 January 2009

Around Eyam

Pestilence and plague??? Not today, we hoped!

Last week, we had a superb day, I would say as close to perfect as you can get. Today was more typical, with showers forecast all day, and a grey outlook. Oh well, not to worry, it IS January, after all. We decided on somewhere not too far from our door, and chose Eyam. I erred on the side of caution, and packed my brolly (umbrella), as I always like to keep my camera to hand, if possible. With a brolly, you can cover up for the duration of the shower, if you pack your camera away each time it rains, it becomes a pain in the a...... well, you know!

We parked in the centre of Eyam, and started the walk through the churchyard.
As most people know, Eyam is famous for one thing - locking itself away when the bubonic plague, or 'black death', became virulent in the village. Rather than infect the surrounding areas, the residents locked themselves away, with terrible consequences. If you don't know the whole story, look here;
Here's where it all started - plague cottages.

Eyam is FULL of cottages with a similar, tragic story.
Anyway, don't want to get all morose! As you can see, rather grey, but that was to be the pattern for most of today. The fields and paths were boggy too, again, not unexpected. We passed a rather large collection of new houses to our right, before climbing up to the path that runs behind the Eyam youth hostel.

Still very murky out there. This was just before crossing Sir William Hill road, and Eyam moors.

Looking over to Burbage rocks.
The path across the moors.
It kept on spitting with rain, but we still considered it better to be out than stuck indoors though.
Now and then, it showed a promise of a brighter day.
We eventually dropped off the moor to Stoke ford. This beautiful place is a meeting place for lunch and can get very crowded in summer. Today, we were alone - just us and a pile of orange peel some idiot had just discarded.
I picked it up, noting it was surprisingly light, and no trouble AT ALL to take home!

There are not many flowers around this time of year, well - not much of anything really, but fungi and mosses can still provide a pleasant sight.

Again we had to face the deeper mud where there was no side tracking it. This path up Abney clough was probably the worst all day. Good job we had good boots on.

We soon reached the hamlet of Abney. I first noted this lovely post box on a house, then the Victorian letter box, and (rare these days) a RED phone box!

The little robin, the gardeners friend, also pops up to say hello fairly often when we're walking.
We turned left at Abney grange, then right to drop steeply into the top of Abney clough. This really IS a steep down and up but, there being a handy bench seat, we decided to have lunch anyway with Sue complaining she didn't fancy the climb up the other side with a full tummy. It rained again while we sat there with our soup (Heinz tomato again - mmmmmmm) and tea but the brolly saved us!
On the top of the grange outbuildings was this unique 'sheep and lamb' weather vane.

On the far side of the clough, we saw this land feature. At first, Sue thought it was maybe spoil from mining, but we couldn't see any mines? After another look, we decided either a landslip, or glacial 'drumlins'.
At this point, the sun peeped out at us and bathed the grange in light.
I have marked our path to give you some idea of the terrain.
Sue tackles the final few metres of the steep path out of the clough.

But a look left showed us that the weather could change at any second.

Now, this looks more promising!
A lovely glow, as the light catches the escarpments of Burbage rocks.

There are some really good field patterns around here, and the way the light was catching them today made them even more impressive.
The Barrel inn, Eyam edge.
I had been here on a number of occasions, but Sue had never been in.

Time to put that one to bed - cheers!

The lovely bar in the Barrel Inn.

And what they would term 'essential equipment' in these parts.

After slaking our thirsts, we dropped off Eyam edge, past a REALLY ugly factory (no pictures), and made our way back to the village.
We passed some interesting places and things on the way though.

'Would suit enthusiast'
We entered the village, and I couldn't leave without getting a picture of the stocks.

And, of course, the final rays of the day were captured for all to see.

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