Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence

Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence

Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence

Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence
4.5
Historic Sites • Churches & Cathedrals
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
A Place, A People and A Passion Eyam is a place of pilgrimage where Christians have worshipped for 1,000 years and is currently the destination of the Peak Pilgrimage walk (please see website). The church building displays the inspirational story of the historical reality of the plague in 1665-66 and a community willingly sacrificing themselves for the sake of others. This continues to motivate the church family that meets in Eyam to this day. It also bears witness to another act of great sacrifice: the Christian message that God so loved his world that he gave his son Jesus Christ to die upon the cross. [Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)] This is a historic church with much to see. Enjoy the murals of the tribes of Israel, the plague window, the plague register, Mompesson’s pulpit and chair, the Saxon font, sundial, Celtic Cross, graveyard and many other features. Nevertheless Eyam Church is not a museum looking to the past but a living, vibrant and modern worshipping church community where God is active today. It is a church of all ages, looking to serve the God of the Bible on Sundays and during the week. It has a strong commitment to youth work and families; a church with a heart for God and a heart for our community. The church is open daily and has a book and information stall. School trips by prior arrangement.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.5
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Ken K
High Wycombe, UK26 contributions
Jun 2021
The church was open when I visited in late June. They had clearly thought through Covid procedures with hand sanitisers, one way system etc, which was appreciated. It felt like a living church with an active congregation, rather than one catering for visitors (which was a plus). There was attractively displayed information about the church and the plague which was easy to access. The celtic cross and the tomb of the rector's wife were easy to find outside. I was able to sit quietly in the church and reflect on the Covid pandemic - those who have died and others whose lives and livelihoods have been dominated by loss. I was grateful for that time and space. Thank you.
Written July 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

whatlynseydid
Tamworth, UK356 contributions
Jul 2021
A lovely, well kept church in the heart of the village, which is very informative. Within the grounds are a several of the must see points of interest of the village. A map of the village can be purchased from inside the church so that you can ensure you don't miss out on any of the 'attractions'.
A very humbling and sad tale from history.
Written July 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

md1mm
Sheffield, UK1,413 contributions
Aug 2021
This is a great place to start your visit to Eyam. The church is beautiful inside and out. You can get the history of the village inside and there is a beautiful book recording the date and name of every person who died during the plague. The church is at the centre of the village and you can not miss it.
Written August 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KTP310
Reading, UK774 contributions
Oct 2020
We visited Eyam as I am reading Years Of Wonder and was keen to learn more about the plague village. It was disappointing that the museum is not yet open but the church had descriptive panels that were very informative about the experiences of the people and the village. Of particular interest was the Plague Window, a beautiful stained glass window that depicts several aspects of the story, and the excellent interpretation panel that describes it.
Written October 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul B
Helston112 contributions
Oct 2020 • Couples
Beautiful parish church that just embraces you when you enter. Clearly a well loved and we'll used church by congregation and community alike. Added to this is the tragedy of the plague that claimed the life of the rector at the time, as he attempted in his role to hold the community together through the devestation.
Well worth a visit when in the village.
Written October 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

travell_a_lot
Salisbury, UK939 contributions
Jul 2021
Covid secure measures in place. Small shop. Loved the newish stained glass window that tells the story visually. Display boards inform visitor. Rather damp but interesting church and grave yard.
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brian T
London, UK4,786 contributions
Apr 2021
The Eyam Parish Church (St Lawrence’s Church) is an integral part of the story of the “Plague Village” of Eyam and the events that unfolded when the Bubonic Plague struck the village in 1665, particularly with the villagers halting the spread of the disease by breaking off all contact with the outside world.

But the story of this beautiful parish church dates back to well before the time of the plague. Parts of the church building are of Saxon origins; some pillars are from Norman times, and the main nave of the church is from around 1350. The tower was added in the 17th century, and houses 4 of the church’s 6 bells.

This historic medieval church is certainly worth an exploration on its own right, rather than just in conjunction with the events of the plague. On this visit I wasn’t able to visit the interior of the church due to closures because of the current pandemic, but have done so on previous visits to Eyam. The graceful arches of the nave, and the plain timbered ceiling, create a simple and serene appearance. The most stunning feature of the church is actually a recent addition: the stained glass window in the chancel was installed in 1986, which depicts some of the events of the plague. There are a few other items in the church which you might find of interest, including a book which lists the names of people who died during the plague, a Saxon font, and the chair used by Rev. Mompesson during his tenure.

Do spend some time exploring the churchyard. The oldest and most striking feature in the churchyard is the eighth-century Celtic cross. One of the best preserved examples in the country, it is decorated with a mixture of Christian and pagan symbols. It may have originally been a wayside preaching cross. It’s not the cross you see by the tower as you enter the churchyard; that’s the village’s war memorial. It’s beyond the entrance to the church, not far from where the sundial is located on the church wall. Also check out that remarkable sundial. It dates back to 1775. On a sunny day it not only shows the time quite accurately in half hours, but it also indicates the time in places worldwide. And you can’t miss the blue clock. Many churches have a clock face that is coloured blue; apparently Henry VIII had decreed that all church clocks should be ‘blew’!

The church’s role in preventing the spread of the plague is well documented and is a wonderful story. It was the then rector William Mompesson, and former rector Thomas Stanley, who decided that no one should enter or leave the village, thus instituting the village’s quarantine process which ultimately stopped the plague from spreading further afield. Mompesson’s memorial is not in the churchyard, but the table tomb of his wife Catherine Mompesson is there. It’s well signed. Her name on the top of the tomb has a spelling mistake which the seventeenth-century stonemason duly corrected.  The memorial to Thomas Stanley is also in the churchyard, and signed.

This is a beautiful spot and well worth a decent visit if you are in Eyam.
Written April 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Robert H
Leamington Spa, UK59 contributions
Jul 2018
Eyam is a wonderful village and full of historical significance due to its fortitude in face of the bubonic plague. The village was led by the vicar, William Mompesson who guided the villagers through this dreadful time. There is a Plague stained glass window which is beautiful as is the rest of the stained glass. Mrs Mompesson is buried in the churchyard and her tomb has a spelling correction added much later by a stonemason.
The village should be visited. It is in a beautiful setting and the Plague Cottages dot the Main Street outlining the impact of the plague. There is a museum and there are other attractions but we only had time to walk along the Main Street, pop into the unmanned visitors' centre and look at the church.
We took advantage of free parking on the outskirts of the village although the parish council requested a donation.
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AlexSwallow
Sheffield, UK1,462 contributions
Sep 2021
The rector was about to close the church but he very kindly not only gave us an extra ten minutes to come in and take a look around but he told us the history of the area, using the stained glass window to explain the story (a sad but ultimately very inspiring tale).

Really appreciated his kindness, this is a special place and clearly a close-knit community.
Written October 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy Jiang
Greater London, UK2,076 contributions
Aug 2020
Despite the current restrictions of Covid meaning both the museum and the church itself are closed, there are still plenty of attractions and buildings that can be seen throughout the village, including the graveyard of the church, where the gravestones of many of the plague victims that made this village infamous can be found. It is located in an area surrounded by other items related to the plague dotted with information, including the avenue of 'plague houses' that were worst hit during the Great Plague.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence

Eyam Parish Church of St Lawrence is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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