Memories and History
We are really in love with Eye’s very long history. Not only have people lived there since Roman times, the name Eye comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for island. There has been a church at Eye since at least 1543. There is still an old Fire Station building and even an old morgue! The village was a home to a London Brick pit and quarry whose bricks helped to build millions of homes across the UK. The old quarry is now the Eye Nature Reserve.
There are lots of local legends and memories about Eye from German WWII airplanes flying down the high street to a giant pike! One piece of recent history was the popular ‘Drakies Farm’. The Drake family used to decorate their home every Christmas. It was so spectacular that it used to be visited by people right across the city. This cultural memory is the inspiration for the first big artist commission – Light Up Eye. This will consist of a series of hands-on lantern making and performance workshops culminating in a spectacular parade of light, street theatre, circus and music. Light Up Eye will be inspired by the village of Eye and created by residents and artists from June to November 2022.
We love the natural spots around Eye and how people protect and use them. Eye Nature reserve is at the centre of the village. It has lots of walkways around it with a real spectrum of wildlife, from its waterfowl to its flora – like pyramidal orchids. There is also Car Dyke which is the site of a Roman settlement. Both of these sites are important for nature and their archaeology. There are also lots places to play in, for example ‘Open Space’ park.
Photos taken by Steve Dytham
Buildings and their communities
Eye village has a real mix of buildings from the high street, which is a conservation area, to the houses and streets that lead off the high street, all the way to Eye Green which is just over the bypass. The buildings span all different ages and looks. There are also lots of venues that are used by the community too, from Manor Farm Community Centre, Eye Youth Club, Eye Library, the Church, the school, to the Leeds Hall. There are some thriving groups who use these buildings. A lot of them involve dancing! Also did you know that Eye was the home of Alfred Leeds who discovered the fossil of the largest fish that ever swum in the oceans. It is called a Leedsichthys which named after him, as is the Leeds Hall. You can see some of his fossils that Alfred Leeds discovered in Peterborough Museum.
What’s Going On?
See what events are happening in Eye soon!
Blink of an Eye is one of our small commissions in Eye. Peterborough Presents wanted to use this short project to connect, develop and work with a local creative.
12th November 2022
Light Up Eye creates a new sense of pride, weaving in creative talent from the community, also giving people in and out of the village a project that will support wellbeing at one of the darkest times of the year.