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Saxon Cross, St Lawrence's Church Graveyard, Church Street, Eyam, Hope Valley, 1969
D D Brumhead
Brumhead, D D
22 January 1969
About this image
Eyam is famous as the 'plague village', which went into voluntary quarantine when the plague was imported from London in 1665. The church in the centre of the village has many relics of the Plague, including Mompesson's chair, gravestones of Plague victims and the Parish Register recording the deaths. The church has two Norman columns, and may be built on Saxon foundations, but dates mostly from the 13th and 14th centuries. In the churchyard, seen here, is a magnificent Saxon cross dating from the 7th century and carved with a mixture of pagan and Christian symbols. This splendid and richly embellished relic of antiquity is about eight feet high, although about a foot of the top of the shaft is broken and lost. A variety of figures are embossed thereon, with many singular symbolical devices. On the arms are figures blowing trumpets, others are holding crosses, one is holding a book and on the western side of the shaft is a figure representing the Virgin and Child. Runic and Scandinavian knots liberally adorn its sides.