Great Fire of London Marks 350 Years

Published on: 02-09-2016

September 2nd marks the 350th year anniversary of the Great Fire of London where over 80% of the city was burnt down in 3 days during 1666.

Adrem © Great Fire of London 350 Years
Adrem © Great Fire of London 350 Years

Commissioned by the arts charity, Artichoke has organised London’s Burning festival the Great Fire 350 this autumn to commemorate the loss of 13,200 of medieval homes, buildings and churches, including the old St Paul’s Church. Exhibitions, tours and installations have been set up across the City of London this weekend for visitors to reimagine the experience, including displays at the Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral.

It was known that the great fire was caused by the neglect of ashes in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane, who became the first victims of the blaze. As the days were hot and houses were tinder dry, the east wind fanned the flames and it then became challenging to extinguish. To memorialise, neighbouring the site is now marked by a 61m tall column built with 311 step stone staircase leading up to a viewing platform called the Monument.

Great Fire of London - Old St Paul's Church
Great Fire of London – Old St Paul’s Church
Great Fire of London - St Paul's Cathedral
Great Fire of London – St Paul’s Cathedral

After the inferno, Sir Christopher Wren was given the task to re-build London, including the Monument tower, current landmark St. Paul’s Cathedral and other architectural buildings. In memory of this event, London’s Burning festival will project bright orange flames on the exterior of sites such as St Paul’s Cathedral between the evenings of 1st and 3rd September.

American sculptor, David Best, has also designed 190 timber-framed buildings assembled together to replicate the artistic impression of London’s skyline in 1666. The 120-metre-long installation has been mounted on to barges on the River Thames between Embankment and Blackfriars and will be set on fire from 6pm on Sunday 4th September in front of a large audience.

Visit London’s Burning festival this week to see more information on exhibitions and displays across London.


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