Dear friends of Training Centre Raya London, we are here to offer you yet another interesting article of the history of London. We are helping you learn English not only by having amazing teachers but also by, providing you enjoyable readings in both English and Bulgarian. Be curious, learn, forge ahead! This will fulfil your goal and ours too – to improve your English so you can achieve your goals in the UK
Before talking about how great was of the Great Fire of London, it’s good to know what London was like in the 17th century. Its population was between 300,000 and 400,000 people – really overpopulated for that time. Inside the city were all sorts of small and large workshops and taverns, really busy with people from all around coming and going. The city itself was still surrounded by a protective wall constructed by the Romans, but in some places it expanded beyond it, which necessitated the demolition of some sections of the fortification. The ancient gates of London’s Roman wall, 7 in total, continued to exist before they were finally demolished between 1760 and 1767.
1665 was the year of the fearsome London plague. Many Londoners died , and those who survived were hoping for God’s grace. Instead, on September 2nd, 1666 flames went out from King’s Bakery on Pudding Lane. Following a long, dry summer the city was suffering a drought and the wooden houses had dried out, making them easier to burn… it was a recipe for disaster. The fire was quickly spreading from house to house by the East wind. Shortly after the fire had started, 300 of the houses collapsed. From the beginning, the authorities and especially the mayor, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, underestimated the situation. Buckets of water were far from enough for the fire to be put out. Panic seized the city. People, in utter disarray, tried to escape by boat on the Thames. Attempts were made by knocking down houses in the path of the flames to cut the fire down, but the tactics were unsuccessful. Houses had been blown up by gunpowder, but instead of helping, caused more panic and rumours of the French invasion.
By the 4th of September one half of London was in inextinguishable blaze. St Paul’s Cathedral was also caught by the flames. The acres of lead on the roof melted and poured down on to the street like a river, and the great cathedral collapsed. Luckily the Tower of London escaped the inferno.
Eventually the fire was brought under control, and by the 6th September had been extinguished altogether.Only one fifth of London was not affected by the fire! Many private and public buildings were destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless. Amazingly, only six people had died. But the disaster was devastating.
And yet there is a benefit from the fire – the overcrowded streets, the dirt and the diseases disappeared. The fire was a chance to reconstruct the city in a more rational way. Just several London’s former buildings survived. These include 41 Cloth Fair, the oldest house in the City of London, The Staple Inn, The Tower of London, Saint Andrew Undershaft Church and very few others. The more intrigued of you can visit them to experience the truly historic London.
Friends, we sincerely hope this text will be helpful for your educational experience. Our learning centre relies on that! We would also be delighted if you could suggest interesting reading topics! We are expecting your feedbacks!
Author: Iveta Radeva