Researching The Great Fire Of London

Great Fire 350  is a series of events and exhibitions around London to commentate the 1666 Great Fire of London. 29th November 2016 spent a day exploring some of the offerings.

London Metropolitan Archive –  London’s Baking! Bakers, Cakes, Bread, and puddings from 1666

The exhibition illustrated the story of London bakers from the Great Fire onward. Alongside a fascinating  display of recipes and examples of baked goods from the time.

The major reason for choosing this exhibition first was a comment about a recently ‘uncovered map which shows Farynor’s bakery was actually located in present-day Monument street’. The evidence presented is intriguing – the map does indeed show the Bakery on  Monument Street. Walking the modern day street area the two seem different. Allowing for renaming of streets as the Monument was built post fire the current Pudding Lane seems geographically oddly positioned to have previously continued into Monument street as it now stands.. A future investigation might be to ‘discover’ more maps and try to discover if Pudding Lane had a longer run before the monument was built.

The research into the history of the bakers was fascinating. The exhibition traced the origins of baked goods to areas around London with commentary of how they were developed, pictures of experiments and the offer of a downloadable cookbook

Down load version of  the London’s Baking Exhibition cook book

City of London Heritage Gallery Guildhall Yard

The attraction of this exhibit were the extracts of  Robert Hooke’s diary and a report from a clerk  about fireballs being thrown into buildings. . I particularly liked the enlargements of documents which allowed easy reading. The exhibition was well laid out and responsible of a magic loss of two hours cross referencing known and unknown knowledge


Guildhall Art Gallery – The Dreadful Fire:The Hand of God, A Great Wind and a Very Dry Season

The exhibition illustrated the story of the fire with extracts from English and Foreign accounts, sermons and pubic records held in the archive.

Whilst I love telling a KS1 version of the story the extracts were useful in fleshing out the details of the events and bringing interest to the very familiar story. Of real interest were the contrasting thoughts on the actions of the poor and rich and its effect on  the numbers of houses they ultimately lost. On a humorous note , my husband, often teases me about my long sentences. I was pleased to show him a 101 word sentence from 1666.