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St Lawrence, Eyam, Derbyshire

30/05/2015: Eyam in Derbyshire is the famous 'plague village' which was hit by the plague in 1665, quarantined itself and rode out the infection. The church has a record of 273 people killed by the outbreak that year.

A box tomb in the churchyard has a nice winged hourglass on one end and the inscription "CAVE NESCITIS HORAM", "beware you know not the hour". But someone decided to make the "you" more explicit later and made it "CAVE TE NESCITIS HORAM", squeezing in the incised TE after CAVE with a nice ligature. Another tall and narrow box tomb has clean memento mori emblems on either end.

There is a celtic cross, allegedly from the 8th century. So sayeth the sign. Most of the headstones are of local sandstone and many have weathered badly over the years to the point where they are all but unreadable.

A couple of partial grave slabs are fixed to the outside south wall.

At a number of churches in Derbyshire, and especially Darley Dale, there are small headstones dated around 1650 to 1750 with somewhat square cut letters (the cross section of the cuts are square, not the letter forms. Most lettering is 'v-cut'). Some of these have been filled with lead. Now when I see square cut letters without lead, I wonder... were they once lead filled? There is an example of this leaning against the south wall.

Sometimes, perhaps when previous family members have been buried and have no headstone, or if old headstones have been damaged, there comes a time to rationalise and put the names of a number of people on one stone. In that event, sometimes the way to do it neatly and with economy of layout is in the form of a table. Thirteen members of the Talbott family are recorded in this way.

On 15 January 1731, Anne Sellars died. Seven years later, to the day, her husband Isaac died. Their headstone records the coincidence in a slightly creepy tone...

Inside the church a number of wall paintings are described by various (web) sources as 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century. I'll be happy for any expert to give me the definitive view on their date...

© Copyright Poor Frank Raw, 2016