Arches UK - a collection of Nature’s arches and bridges
Cucklet Church West
NABSQNO 30U 588086 - 5904485
Derbyshire. In September 1665, the great plague of London was raging. Black rats carrying infected fleas spread the plague. A consignment of cloth was sent from London to a tailor living in the village of Eyam, one George Viccars. As the cloth was damp on arrival it was dried out and this released plague infested fleas. Two days later Viccars fell ill and died in two weeks . More neighbours began to die with the plague.
The deaths continued even during the winter and, in the spring of 1666, it became apparent to the rector William Mompesson that the only way to contain the epidemic was to cut off the village from the outside world. Mompesson persuaded the villagers to accept the self-imposed quarantine. The church was closed and Mompesson held services in the open air so that each family could be separated from each other to restrict the spread of the plague. The services were held at the natural arch, today known as Cucklet Church. The plague ended in October 1666 by which time it had claimed 260 lives out of a population now known to number around 800.
The arch is a double arch which also has a passageway between the two openings.
This is the west arch which has a span of 9 ft and a height of 16 ft.