Eyam Edge Farm

Peak District National Park, Yorkshire

A wild and wonderful location in the heart of the Peak District National Park


 

Eyam Edge Farm is a 30-acre holding with 22 acres used for pasture, four for horticulture, and four acres of woodland. Eyam integrates with the craft curriculum by providing willow for willow work, wood for green woodwork, plants for natural dyes, charcoal for the forge and stone for dry stone walling.

The horticulture area provides produce for the kitchen at Brantwood Specialist School in nearby Sheffield, serving the social enterprise initiative. Land is central to the Ruskin Mill Trust’s educational method, Practical Skills Therapeutic Education, providing opportunities for practical activities, materials for craftwork, biodynamic food for nourishment, therapeutic outdoor learning environments and experiences that deepen the understanding of self and others. The management of the diverse ecosystems across the Trust’s land not only benefits the students and staff but supports local biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

The sensory garden at Eyam Edge Farm

The sensory garden at Eyam Edge Farm

Genius Loci

Genius loci, also known as ‘spirit of place,’ refers to the unique integral identity of a place. Eyam Edge Farm is located at a wild and wonderful location, 1300ft above sea level in the heart of the Peak District National Park.

Its development has been undertaken with a conscious understanding of the landscape’s characteristics and the area’s history. The curriculum is informed by the mineral, plant, animal and human realms, and is rooted in the landscape.

Eyam village

Eyam village is well known for its collective altruistic response to the plague which arrived in the village in 1665, when a flea-infested bundle of cloth from London was delivered to the local tailor. The whole village went into quarantine to try to prevent further spread of the disease. Over the next 14 months the plague killed 260 of the 350 inhabitants.

Waterfall Swallet

Limestone is soluble and caves form within it. The Waterfall Swallet is a large tree-lined pothole with a 9m waterfall. The stream flows into a cave below to a depth of 43m. In very wet weather a lake forms.

A detail illustration of Eyam Edge Farm and the surrounding area. Illustration by Dilly Williams

Eyam Edge Farm and the surrounding area. Illustration by Dilly Williams

Bronze Age tools icon Bronze Age tools and household artefacts

  1. Stone, axe, flints, arrow
  2. Arrow
  3. Flints
  4. Saw scraper
  5. Large end scraper
  6. Stone axe
  7. Burial urn
  8. Flat axe, spear head, flint arrow
  9. Flint
  10. Flint
  11. Interned cremated remains
  12. Pestle, bones, urn, arrow head
  13. Stone axe
  14. Chert scraper
  15. Cremation urn

Bronze Age earthworks icon Bronze Age earthworks
 

  1. Ring ditch
  2. Tumuli
  3. Stone earth bank
  4. Possible round barrow
  5. Cup-marked boulder
  6. Cup and ring
  7. Wet Withens stone circle
  8. Cairn field and house platform
  9. Round barrow

 © Cairn or cairn field

Geology

Eyam Edge gritstone Eyam Edge gritstone

Edale shale Edale shale

Eyam limestone Eyam limestone

Lower shell bed Lower shell bed

Black bedrock Black bed

White bedrock White bed

An illustration of Eyam Edge during the Bronze Age

The Eyam Edge Farm site during the Bronze Age. Illustration by Dilly Williams

Bronze Age

Eyam Moor was already being farmed as far back as the Neolithic period. Woodland clearance continued in the Bronze Age and the whole landscape was divided by stone walls. The weather was warmer and the shallow soil over the gritstone could support cereal crops. Cairns, round burrows and stone circles were dominant features in the landscape. When the climate became colder and wetter, peat began to spread in the cultivated soil and the Bronze Age villages and fields were abandoned.