The Great Fire of London September 1st 1666 The fire begins Thomas Farynor was a baker who lived in Pudding Lane in London. On Saturday September 1st he thought he had put out all his oven fires and went to bed. BUT….. One of his ovens was still alight! Soon the whole house was on fire! Farynor and his family climbed out of a window and crawled across the roof to safety. But… the wind blew the fire into the stables of the Star Inn nearby. The fire was spreading rapidly. Samuel Pepys Samuel Pepys got up that night to see what was happening but then he went back to bed again. Fires were very common in London at that time. BUT… this was no ordinary fire! Samuel Pepys’s Diary Samuel Pepys wrote a diary in a sort of code that is called shorthand. Here is what he wrote about that night. “September 2nd. Jane called us up about 3 o’clock in the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the city.” Samuel Pepys buried all his most valuable things in his garden. He buried his best wines, important papers about his work in the Navy, and, of course, his diary. The fire spreads The fire spread from house to house and then along London Bridge and the bank of the River Thames. Most of the houses were timber framed and had thatched roofs. They were built very close together. The fire spread easily , blowing down the narrow streets. By Sunday the fire was still spreading. The whole of London was in danger. Many Londoners had to escape. They loaded their belongings into carts or boats and left their houses to burn. Fighting the fire Watchmen and constables tried to put out the fire. They used buckets and syringes filled with water from the river, public wells and fountains. BUT… the summer of 1666 had been very hot and most of the fountains were Syringes like this were used to fight the Great Fire of London. The end of the fire The Lord Mayor of London did not know how to stop the fire. Samuel Pepys went to see King Charles II to ask him for help. He sent soldiers to to help the firefighters. The soldiers pulled houses down with iron hooks. They even used gunpowder to blow up houses in the path of the fire. BUT… the fire continued to spread. Finally the, on Wednesday September 5th, the wind changed direction and the fire stopped spreading. BUT… most of London had been destroyed. 13,000 houses and 86 churches has been burnt down. Even St Paul’s Cathedral had gone. A New London Great architects like Sir Christopher Wren helped plan the new city. Most new buildings were built of brick or stone. They wanted to build the streets wider to stop any new fires BUT… The Monument this would have cost a lot of money. Only a few new wide streets were built. Most new buildings were built where the old ones stood. A monument was built to commemorate the fire.