Eyam is a small village in Derbyshire, UK. In 1665, the bubonic plague hit its population. Rather than flee, the villagers were persuaded that they had a moral obligation to isolate themselves from the outside world in order to prevent the spread of that disease:
They lined up stones to mark the village boundaries, and no one was allowed beyond them. Supplies of food and clothing brought to the village from the outside were left at the boundary stones and were paid for with coins placed in a disinfectant of vinegar and water.
The horror increased as the months passed. By the end of August 1666, two-thirds of the original population had perished. Format burial services were no longer held. When the cemetery became full, the dead were buried in gardens and fields.
Only a fourth of the population had survived when outsiders made contact a year later. Today, although the village was subsequently resettled, much of it is a museum and a memorial to its inhabitants.
Photo: Cressbrook Multimedia