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The Great Fire of London was an enormous fire that spread through the center of London, UK, in 1666. The fire caused major damage to the City of London, including St Paul’s Cathedral, and destroyed the homes of nearly all the city’s residents. See the fact file below for more information on the Great Fire of London or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
• The Great Fire of London began on Sunday 2nd September, 1666 and ended on Wednesday 5th September, 1666.
• The Fire started at a bakery on Pudding Lane owned by Thomas Farriner.
• Local London residents originally thought that the fire had been started by foreign immigrants.
• It’s believed that the fire reached a temperature of 1250°C.
• The Fire mainly affected the City of London: the most central area of London where all the important authority buildings are.
• The windy weather caused the Great Fire of London to spread northwards from Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane.
• In the 1600s, London’s buildings were mainly made of wood and thatch with open fires, there were many professions that used heat and fire, and the streets were crowded and tightly packed together. This increased the risk of fire and gave fires the opportunity to spread rapidly.
• In 1666, London had experienced a few years of drought, and so the buildings and streets were very dry. This made it much easier for the fire to spread.
• The Great Fire was contained within the center of London, and did not reach the slums in the suburbs where the poorest people reach, nor did it reach Westminster where the richest people lived.
• The Lord Mayor, Sir Thomas Bloodworth, is believed by many to be responsible for the spread of the Great Fire of London. When the fire started at the bakery, Bloodworth was summoned to make a decision about how to contain it, but refused to go along with the proposed measures.
• Around 13,200 houses were destroyed in the Great Fire of London, causing 70,000 people to lose their homes. This equates to around 7 in every 8 residents.
• One of the most famous residents during the Great Fire of London was Samuel Pepys, who kept a diary detailing the events of the fire.
• St Paul’s Cathedral, as well as 87 other churches, were destroyed or damaged by the Great Fire.
• St Paul’s Cathedral was believed to be a refuge from the fire because it was made of stone. However, the Cathedral was undergoing restoration work and so was covered in wooden scaffolding.
• Half of the houses along London Bridge were destroyed in the fire. This wasn’t the first time that the bridge had burnt down, so there was already a gap in the buildings. This gap prevented the fire from moving across the River Thames.
• Only 6 deaths were officially recorded during the Great Fire of London, although this total could be higher. It’s thought that many of the dead were unrecognizable due to the fire, or came from poor backgrounds and so weren’t seen as important.
• One of main problems that firefighters had was that the streets of London were narrow and crowded, so they couldn’t get their firefighting equipment through.
• Firefighters tried to stop the Great Fire of London by creating firebreaks. This meant demolishing buildings so there was a gap in the landscape, causing the fire to stop moving from building to building.
• Some of the firebreaks were created by gunpowder used by the troops at the Tower of London.
• The firebreaks, along with the windy weather ceasing, are thought to be the reasons why the Great Fire of London ended.
• A French watchmaker, named Robert Hubert, claimed that he had started the Great Fire of London at the Pudding Lane bakery. Hubert was convicted and hanged, but it was later proved that he had lied when evidence showed Hubert had been on board a ship when the fire started.
Great Fire of London Worksheets
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Great Fire of London Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about The Great Fire of London was an enormous fire that spread through the center of London, UK, in 1666. The fire caused major damage to the City of London, including St Paul’s Cathedral, and destroyed the homes of nearly all the city’s residents.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- The Great Fire of London Poem
- Rhyme Time
- The Great Fire of London by the Numbers
- London Bridge
- Samuel Pepys’ Diary
- Fire Prevention
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Link will appear as The Great Fire Of London Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 27, 2020
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These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.