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The Great Plague of London affected many places across England, but one small village in Derbyshire called Eyam, will always be remembered for the heroic sacrifice made by its villagers to arrest the spread of infection.

The bubonic plague was a much feared disease in mediaeval Europe. Known as the ‘black death’, it turned victim’s skin to patches of black as the flesh rotted within. This was accompanied by inflamed glands or 'buboes', compulsive vomiting, splitting headache and eventually death. When the disease first took epidemic proportions between 1346 and 1353, it wiped out an estimated 100 million people from the face of the earth, or nearly one-fourth of the world population. The bubonic plague broke again in London in 1665–66, and although smaller in scale compared to the 14th century outbreak, it still claimed some 100,000 lives in London alone.

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Photo credit: Donald Judge/Flickr

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