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Eyam is famous as the 'plague village', which went into voluntary quarantine when the plague was imported from London in a chest of textiles in 1665. The church in the centre of the village has many relics of the Plague, including Mompesson's (William Mompesson, Vicar of Eyam) chair, gravestones of Plague victims and the Parish Register recording the deaths. ( The ghost of Catherine Mompesson, wife of the William, is often reported walking through the churchyard, pausing at the Eyam Cross.) The church may be built on Saxon foundations, but mostly dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.