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1001 Stories Collection

Children of Winter

1001 Children Of Winter
Added on 30th July 2020

Author Berlie Doherty
First published 1985
Publisher Methuen

A gripping time travelling tale of survival during the time of the plague.


Catherine and her brother and sister take shelter from a storm in a deserted barn that seems vaguely familiar. They find that they have gone to the time of the great plague when three children were hidden in the barn to take shelter from the plague that had come to the village below.

Why we chose it

A time slip story based on the story of Eyam, a Derbyshire village that cut itself off when the plague came so as not to infect other villages. Half of its population died but the plague didn’t spread further. The story has inspired a number of novels and television programmes.

Where it came from

Berlie Doherty lives in Derbyshire, near to the village of Eyam. She took inspiration from a writing workshop with children which took place in an old barn. The children used the barn as the setting for ghost stories and one suggested that someone could have hidden from the plague in the barn. Doherty wrote that story and set it in that barn.

Where it went next

There was a Channel 4 dramatisation of Children of Winter in 1994.

Associated stories

Berlie Doherty has written an number of books for children including, Street Child, Granny Was a Buffer Girl, Jeannie of White Peak Farm Spellhorn and Treason.

Her novels for teenagers include Dear Nobody, Deep Secret, A Company of Ghosts and A Beautiful Place for a Murder.

The story of the village of Eyam has inspired other writers including Jill Paton Walsh, A Parcel of Patterns.

There are many time popular time slip stories including Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce, The Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston, A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley, Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett and Lost Gods by Francesca Simon.

Added on 30th July 2020

Author Berlie Doherty
First published 1985
Publisher Methuen