The Great Fire of London with Laura Adams - Context Travel

The Great Fire of London with Laura Adams


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In early September 1666, The Great Fire of London swept through the medieval city, leaving destruction and devastation in its wake. In our conversation today we chart the progress of the fire asking why did it spread so quickly? Who tried to put it out? Who was to blame and afterward how was the city rebuilt?

On the 2nd September 1666, a fire broke out in a bakers shop in Pudding Lane, in the heart of the City of London. Over the course of four days and nights, it was to wreak destruction, razing over 13,000 homes, 87 churches, 44 Livery Halls, and consuming the most magnificent structure of all, the Old St Paul's Cathedral. Together, we will briefly examine the previous tumultuous decade, in which a King had been restored, war raged and plague had recently wiped out around a fifth of the city's population and we look at what London was like before the fire broke out.

We will then trace the course of the Great Fire through its catastrophic journey, exploring why it spread so rapidly and how it caught Londoners unawares. We explore terror, chaos, marauding gangs rampaging through the streets, desperate attempts to douse the flames, and how the fire became a conflagration. We will refer to the accounts of our great diarists, Samuel Pepys, John Evelyn, and schoolboy William Taswell, to whom we owe our extensive knowledge of the event and examine the main protagonists of our story, the heroes, the villains and the plain ineffectual.

And when finally, once the fire had died down, London was forced to face the aftermath, we look at the rebuilding of the city and the achievements of one of the greatest architects of them all, Sir Christopher Wren. Led by London Blue Badge Tourist Guide and former actress and storyteller Laura Adams. Through this conversation, we will not just explore the history of this extraordinary event, but also how the modern city we see today has been defined by it.

Laura is a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide, former actress, and storyteller. She is a product of many generations of Londoners and specializes in the history of the Tudors and Stuarts, Victorian London, the Monarchy, Shakespeare, Theatreland, and the history of great British Women.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.