2 September 1666?
The original ‘Great Fire’ occurred July 10th, 1212. As it spread across North Bridge, many of those escaping the fire jumped into the river or tried to get aboard overcrowded boats. Around 3,000 people are estimated to have died, the ‘largest ever death toll attributed to a single British fire’.
Following this event, new specifications were implemented that roofs were not to be made from reeds, rushes, straw or thatch – and those that were had to be plastered over within 8 days – or pulled down!
A further important fire occurred, on the evening of February 11, 1633. Many of the properties lost during this fire were never rebuilt, therefore this event was pivotal in limiting the extent of the damage of the ‘Great Fire of London’ 33 years later, as this created a ‘fire break’ and prevented the fire spreading to the south of the river.
Did you know that Robert Hubert was hung for ‘starting the fire’ in Thomas Farynor’s bakery at Pudding Lane? He was hung on the 27th October 1666, at Tyburn (now Hyde Park Corner). Was the fire set deliberately?
In 1667, building regulations were increased to include separation of buildings, construction of brick or stone party walls and wider roads to increase the gaps between properties…
– how much did you really know?
Details taken from the excellent Cold Case Fire Investigation, issued to commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the fire, published by The Crisis Response Journal on behalf of The Worshipful Company of Firefighters ‘The Great Fire of London 1666’ (ISBN 978-0-9955261-0-5) – with profits going to the Worshipful Company of Firefighters Charitable Trust.
“We have dedicated our work to the generations of firefighters who have for so long protected our city and its citizens from the scourge of fire and disaster….”.
Bruce Hoard, Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters.