On the East wall of the St Helens Church
in Darley Dale is a narrow window - these were sometimes called the 'lepers window'. Lepers' windows and were left open during services so that infected people could take part without having to go inside the church.
Historically, people with leprosy were treated with great suspicion and usually forced to leave their homes and settlements and live away from everyone else in 'leper colonies' depending on charity to survive. People were also made to wear special clothing to let others know they had leprosy, to walk away from others, and to ring bells to advertise their presence.
In 1873 Gerhard Henrik Armauer Hansen identified the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae as the infectious cause of leprosy and is also called Hansen's disease.
There was a leper hospital