Eyewitness history: The Great Fire of London

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By John Davisteacher and freelance writer

Explore the most famous event in the history of London with some cross-curricular activities and an evocative interactive resource

Illustration of the Great Fire of London © Paul Cheshire

The Great Fire of London, believed to have started in a baker’s shop in Pudding Lane, raged from 2 September to 5 September 1666. It destroyed more than half the area inside the city walls of London. More than 13000 houses in 400 streets went up in flames, as well as 80 churches and most of the public buildings in the city. The overall cost of the damage to property and goods was estimated at £10 million – a staggering amount of money for those times. A large re-building programme soon followed, masterminded by men like Sir Christopher Wren, the architect of St Paul’s Cathedral. The Monument, close to the Tower of London, now marks the spot where the fire started.

Interactive history

Great Fire of London screengrab

Transport your class back in time to London in September, 1666 with our evocative interactive resource. Miles, a London stable boy, tells the story of the Great Fire while a fantastically detailed illustration scrolls across the screen, and the sound of fire crackling and people shouting can be heard in the background!

Great Fire of London scene

Alternatively, use the scrollable scene to allow children to create their own commentary for the events during the Great Fire.

Activities

Ages five to seven

Ages seven to nine

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