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Plague

Oisin

gone but not forgotten
Ever since I could remember, "Keep away, plague," was painted on the wall of our house in Wellington Street. :?

I often wonder where it originated. I doubt it was the work of anyone local though, cos none of 'em could spell a word like "plague". :wink:
 
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Frothblower

Lubrication In Moderation
My son lives near this green oasis in the middle of London. Thanks to the poor victims of the Great Plague of London. This is where they are buried
 

pollypops

master brummie
My son lives near this green oasis in the middle of London. Thanks to the poor victims of the Great Plague of London. This is where they are buried
What a shame there is such a sad reason for that green 'oasis' in London. Is there a memorial with their names on?
Polly
 

pollypops

master brummie
Oh thats good. at least they are not forgotton. Were they buried in mass/unmarked graves? (I can see no headstones). Sorry to ask so many questions but you've got me interested now.
Polly
 

Frothblower

Lubrication In Moderation
Oh thats good. at least they are not forgotton. Were they buried in mass/unmarked graves? (I can see no headstones). Sorry to ask so many questions but you've got me interested now.
Polly

I assume they must have been mass graves polly. Evertime I see that church I mean to go in but never do. I will one day.
 

Big Gee

master brummie
There are "Plague Pits" all over London. One was found during the construction of the Victoria Line. There is no memorial which actually lists the names of those who died during the Great Plague of 1665, because the vast majority of those who died were just ordinary, unknown people, whose bodies were taken away during the night and quite literally dumped into mass graves and forgotten.

Big Gee
 

paul stacey

master brummie
there are plague pits all over Europe, some with as many as 4/5000 in them the people of that time had no idea how the plague spread and because all of Europe was Christian they would not burn the bodies and had get rid of the bodies quickly so mass graves. There are also other mass graves around the Temple area in London where the victims of the great fire are buried.
 

lesr1

master brummie
Frothblower,thanks for posting your photo.I am intrigued as to the exact location in London of the church and parkland.Les
 
S

Seabird

Guest
Intriguing subject isn't it? Must have been hell at the time, as it swept right across Europe.

Sometimes place names give a clue - 'Black pits' being one. isn't there a Blackpits Lane or Road round Bartley Green way? (it's a long time since I visited that part of the Midlands, forgive my failing memory!)
 

pollypops

master brummie
I remember reading about the Bubonic Plague as a child and being terrified that it may come back - I was also horrified when I found out that Ring-a-Ring of Roses was about the plague. To think that I happily chanted it with my friends in the playground and all the time we were singing about something so horrible - I wonder why children were encouraged to sing it?
I always find it strange that The great fire of London - another great tragedy - helped to stop the plague because it killed the black rats and fleas that helped spread it. Also you cannot think about the plague without thinking about Eyam in Derbyshire. A traveller brought the disease to Eyam in some cloth from London. The Village Rector who understood the danger put the village into self-imposed quarantine, arranging for food to be left on the boundary of the village. The villagers chiselled holes into stones, filled the holes with vinegar (to act as disinfectant) and placed coins inside to pay for the food. Not many villagers survived but they stopped it from spreading to other villages. It is hard to imagine just how many people lost there lives to the plague.
Polly
 
S

Seabird

Guest
Agree pollypops.
Wasn't there a TV play many years ago called (I think) 'The Roses of Eyam', which told the story. I think Eyam was the only place it spread to outside London. They say that if the Great fire of London had occurred first, the plague wouldn't have happened, because, as well as the rats, it destroyed the wooden houses which were built so close together that the upper storeys met across the lanes.
The plague which spread across Europe was the Black Death in the 14th century. There's a fascinating book about life in the 14thC called 'A Distant Mirror' by Barbara Tuchman - comparing life then with modern times. I think I'd rather live now, even with all life's problems!
 

paul stacey

master brummie
apparantly the largest plague pit is ni Marselles in France over 100,000 buried their and so many died in southern Europe, that the dead remained lying where they died as even the grave diggers and monks who would normally bury the dead had died, story's of whole towns and villages perishing.
paul
 

Frothblower

Lubrication In Moderation
Frothblower,thanks for posting your photo.I am intrigued as to the exact location in London of the church and parkland.Les

It's Blackheath Les.
Here are 2 photos. The Hare and Billet is a wonderful pub,:) you can see the Church in the background
 

maggieuk

The Fairybrain of Brum
Read somewhere that a lot of plague victims were buried on the site of Gamgee House just by Ladywood Middleway
 

Tacitus

master brummie
Maggie

You are absolutely correct that Birmingham's plague victims were buried in the Ladywood area - then of course just open fields.

If you compare the old maps to the present layout it puts the burial area quite close to Gamgee House or maybe just over the other side of Alston Street..

On the old maps the area is called the "Pest Fields" - I suppose that name comes from "Pestilence" another word for plague.

Having satisfied my curiosity on that it got me wondering whether Birmingham had a special burial area for victims of the various cholera epidemics. The answer was no - because Birmingham had relatively few deaths from cholera!!

The areas of the Midlands most affected by cholera were in the Black Country i.e. Bilston, Wolverhampton etc.

Some years back I lived off the Penn Road in Wolverhampton. There was an area of open grass near where we lived and we were told it was the site of a mass cholera grave. By law the ground had to be left undisturbed until all risk of contamination had gone. Or so the story went anyway . . . .

T
 

Big Gee

master brummie
The plague spread throughout the British Isles. The reason why Eyam is famous for its connection with the plague is that the rector of the time kept a journal which recorded very accurately how the plague arrived (in a delivery of clothing from London) and how it finally burned itself out. Today you can still see gravestones in the middle of fields where victims were buried more or less where they fell, rather than bring their contaminated corpses to the village church for burial. Worth a visit - lovely place and not that far from Brum.

Back in the 1970's I had a pal who worked for British Rain Estates Dept in Brum, and he had a story of when trial excavations were being made for a possible Birmingham underground system, and at least one plague pit was discovered, I believe in the general area of the Bristol and Pershore Roads. When I was a kid there were stories of the unmarked graves of plague victims just outside the churchyard wall at Aston Parish Church; don't know if these stories were ever authenticated.

Big Gee
 
S

Seabird

Guest
The plague spread throughout the British Isles. The reason why Eyam is famous for its connection with the plague is that the rector of the time kept a journal which recorded very accurately how the plague arrived (in a delivery of clothing from London) and how it finally burned itself out. Today you can still see gravestones in the middle of fields where victims were buried more or less where they fell, rather than bring their contaminated corpses to the village church for burial. Worth a visit - lovely place and not that far from Brum.

Back in the 1970's I had a pal who worked for British Rain Estates Dept in Brum, and he had a story of when trial excavations were being made for a possible Birmingham underground system, and at least one plague pit was discovered, I believe in the general area of the Bristol and Pershore Roads. When I was a kid there were stories of the unmarked graves of plague victims just outside the churchyard wall at Aston Parish Church; don't know if these stories were ever authenticated.

Big Gee

I stand corrected Big Gee :) Never too old to learn!

Makes you think though - if plague could spread so easily with no real transport infrastructure, we stand no chance now we can be anywhere in the world in a matter of hours.
 

Arkrite

master brummie
At Bromyard we have "Burying Lane" a short walk to the North East of the church and town centre. Well placed as the prevalant breeze is from the South West. This area of fields is said to be the site of plage burials.
 
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