Thursday, 23 April 2015

The great fire of London

For four days in September the fire gutted most of the city of London, including St Paul's Cathedral, 1666 was to be one of the most remembered dates in history.

It's the end of summer and the end of a hard day

Picture it, London, its midnight on Sunday, 2 September, the old baker had just finished his shift at the bakery it was cold that September evening, just before he locked up for the night he looked around to make sure it was all secure, his boss Thomas Farriner who lived upstairs with his family had told him to be careful because at that time there were many foreigners in London, England was at war with the French and the Dutch so the old man made sure all was locked up and safe.

The Ferriner Family  Trapped Upstairs

He trundled his way home, what it was, no one knows,? it could have been a candle left lit or just a spark from the embers of the dying fire but by the time the old man had reached the end of the lane where the bakery was, a small fire had started, the Ferriner family were trapped upstairs, but managed to climb from an upstairs window to the house next door, except for a maidservant who was too frightened to try, and she became the first victim

The firefighters had no chance

The lane was aptly called ‘Pudding Lane’ I suppose it got its name because of all the bakery’s there, Most of the buildings in the city of London were built of wood and the best part of the city was based on a medieval style, with overcrowded narrow, winding alleys, this had caused many problems for the fire-fighters of the time and that along with the wooden building made it difficult to combat the many fires that occurred, there were plans to stop the building of wooden houses and an outright ban on thatched roofs was in force

In Just three days

By Wednesday, 5 September in just three short days 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches including, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the homes of 70,000 out of the 80,000 inhabitants of London had been destroyed, if it hadn’t been for the River Thames for the river more damages would certainly have happen.

The fire, however, did leap the river but it helped to slow it down and that combined with the wind dropping and the brilliant foresight of the Tower of London garrison who used gunpowder to affect a successful firebreak. After the fire there were a number of rebuilding proposals but in the end, the destroyed part of London was rebuilt based on a very similar street plan as before many of the streets are still to found today including Pudding Lane.

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