In the early morning hours on September 2, 1666, the Great Fire of London began, destroying the homes of 70,000 people. Find out five things you probably didn’t know about the Great Fire of London.
It Started In A Bakery
The fire started sometime after midnight at a bakery owned by Thomas Farriner near Pudding Lane in London. Farriner supplied bread to the British Navy, and the fire may have started when an oven spark fell into a fuel pile.
The Official Death Count Is Considered To Be Significantly Underestimated
The death count was only six from the fire, but since the steel at the wharves melted, the temperature of the fire might have been up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit and would have incinerated any bodies. The deaths of working class people weren’t recorded and so it’s highly likely that the actual death toll was much higher.
The Fire Destroyed St. Paul’s Cathedral The original St. Paul’s Cathedral was completed in 1314 and was impressive with its high central spire. After the fire,the remains of the cathedral were demolished and work commenced on building a replacement in 1675. The spectacular cathedral we know today was designed by Christopher Wren and remains one of London’s greatest architectural landmarks .Interestingly, Wren had already proposed the demolition and redevelopment of St Paul’s before the fire, but his proposals had been rejected.
A Watchmaker From France Was Falsely Accused Frenchman Robert Hubert, a watchmaker, falsely confessed to setting a fire at Westminster but changed his confession and said he threw a fire grenade in through the bakery’s window even though the shop had no windows. Years later, a Swedish ship’s captain testified that he hadn’t brought Hubert to England until several days after the fire had started. Despite the lack of evidence, Hubert was found guilty and hung at Tyburn on October 27, 1666.
The Great Fire Is Commemorated By a Monument A monument was built to commemorate the Great Fire. Measuring 202 feet in height and located 202 ft from the site of Farriner’s bakehouse, Christopher Wren’s Monument to the Great Fire of London still stands as a lasting memorial of the Great Fire.