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Eyam carols workshop: 25 November 2023

A Parcel of Patterns and other tales: four decades, four voices

Many people first discover the story of the Eyam Plague through children's books, like Jill Paton Walsh's classic 'A Parcel of Patterns', which came out in 1983. To celebrate its republication in 2022, we welcomed four other authors who have written about Eyam: Berlie Doherty, whose 'Children of Winter' was used in BBC's Jackanory series; Lisa Manterfield, who was our special guest in a previous online event; plus two new authors, Joanne Burn and Jennifer Jenkins, whose 'Three' and 'The Hemlock Cure' respectively were recently published. If you would like to view this event, please contact us here.

Nurses, cleansers and buriers: 'key workers' of the Plague

During the pandemic, there has been much discussion of ‘key workers’ – those services and industries which are often poorly paid, but depended upon by society, especially in times of crisis. In times of plague, there were similar roles which were also not always well-rewarded, and have often been overlooked by historians. In this film, we talk to Rachel Clamp from the University of Durham about her research into the ‘key workers’ of the plague; who they were, what they did, what they wore and how wider society felt about them.

'The saddest letter that ever my pen did write': Eyam in the Chatsworth Archives

What links the story of Eyam to Chatsworth? How did 'the saddest letter', from William Mompesson about the death of his wife Catherine during the plague, end up in the Chatsworth archive collection? Find out more with special guest Fran Baker, Chatsworth's Archivist and Librarian, to hear about the many treasures kept in the archive collection of one of the most famous estates in the country. 

A lifetime of research: an interview with Fran Clifford


We were delighted to interview local historian Fran Clifford about her almost 40 years of research into the Eyam plague alongside her late husband John. We talk about old-school research in hushed Diocesan Record Offices, Eyam family trees, 17th century manuscripts, William Mompesson's terrible handwriting, publishing books and founding a museum on the way.

Interview with Lisa Manterfield

We were delighted to welcome Lisa Manterfield, author of The Smallest Thing, a contemporary retelling of the Eyam plague story. This uncannily prescient novel, published in 2017, imagined what would happen if a deadly disease returned to Eyam today, forcing the village into a second quarantine. Listen to this for a fascinating conversation about relationships and community in a time of crisis, and being inspired by history just before it seemed to repeat itself...

Quarantines, vaccines and museums

Our conversation with Dr Jenner's House Museum and historian Rebecca Rideal about how the stories of our museums resonate in the time of Covid-19.

The Air of Freedom: Eyam Boot and Shoemakers' Strike 1918-20

This talk was given by Steve Bond on 28 January 2021.

Our Plague Year: Eyam Museum in conversation with HOME Manchester

Our curator, Owen Roberts, discusses HOME's Our Plague Year cartoon, with artist Nick Burton, in December 2020

Bakewell Old House Museum: impact of Coronavirus

This film was made in September 2020 as part of a joint project about the local impact of Covid