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Great Fire of London

Great fire of London

Great fire of London

Great Fire of London the story from 1666. Homework help with the history of the Great Fire how the Great Fire of London started and how it ended.

Time: 1666

A year after the plague, a disease that one hundred thousand Londoners suffered from, London was a crowded and dirty city. The summer of 1666 was very dry and the River Thames was low. The people worried that there would be a drought.

How did the Great Fire of London start?

At midnight on Saturday 1st September, a baker called Thomas Farynor checked his ovens in his bakery on Pudding Lane and then went upstairs to bed. Unknown to him one of his ovens wasn’t put out and a spark from it fell onto straw and bundles of sticks.

How did the fire spread?

Two hours later Thomas Farynor woke up to smoke everywhere. After his house had burnt to the ground, the flames spread because of the strong east wind. The wind carried sparks that fell on warehouses by the river. The warehouses had oil and brandy which made the flames worse.

By the morning three hundred houses had burnt to the ground and the fire was still spreading. Word got to the King that the fire was spreading quickly and more houses and even churches were in danger.

The Great Fire GameThe Great Fire Game
See what it was like during the fire. Help two people cope with the fire.

Great Fire of London Shop

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How did they try and stop the fire?

With not enough water in the Thames, the flames soared thirty metres high turning the sky red. King Charles ordered for houses to be pulled down that were in the path of the fire, but it did not hold the fire back.

By Tuesday, day three of the fire, it had spread further. The flames were so hot that it even burnt the stones of old St Pauls. It only took a day for old St Pauls to turn to ruins.

Even King Charles II fought the fire pulling down a thatch roof and putting it out with a bucket of water. But still, the flames spread further.

Museum of LondonMuseum of London
Discover London before, during and after the Great Fire of 1666.

How did the Great Fire of London end?

On 5th September, after four days of fighting the great fire, the east wind dropped and a breeze came in from the north to end the fire.

What was the damage from the fire?
Amazingly, only six people died even though four-fifths of the city was burnt to the ground. This included:

  • 87 churches
  • 13,000 houses
  • 44 company halls
  • St Pauls Cathedral
  • The Guild Hall Royal Exchange

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How did they go about rebuilding London after the fire?

After the Great Fire of London, there were lots of questions to be answered.

  • How do we rebuild London?
  • How do we look after the two-hundred thousand people who lost their homes?
  • How do we stop more fires?
  • What do we do first?

Rubble was cleared first and shelters were built for the homeless Londoners. They were also provided with food and water.

The MonumentThe Monument
Climb The Monument and see great views of London. Built to commemorate the start of the Great Fire of London.

Christopher Wren

Christopher WrenThe King wanted a new grander London and asked Christopher Wren, the new Surveyor of the Kings Works to make this happen.

Christopher Wren built 51 new churches and a great St Pauls Cathedral which was finished last in 1711. Unlike the old buildings made of wood, the new buildings were made of brick and stone so they could not be burnt easily. St Pauls Cathedral can still be seen today.

St Pauls CathedralSt Pauls Cathedral
Visit this amazing Cathedral. See the underground Crypt and the Golden Gallery, 111 metres above London.

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