Great Fire of London Facts for Children and Teachers
These fascinating Great Fire of London facts answer many common questions teachers and children have about the blaze.
Fascinating Great Fire of London Facts
When did the Great Fire of London start?
In the small hours of the morning of Sunday 2nd September 1666.
How long did the Great Fire of London last?
Almost five days (although smaller fires flared up for several days afterwards, and some buildings smouldered for months).
When did the Great Fire of London end?
The fire was extinguished by the dawn of Thursday 6th September 1666.
How much of London was destroyed in the great fire?
More than 13,000 homes as well as scores of churches and businesses were burned down. St Paul's Cathedral and Bridewell Palace were also consumed by the blaze. Roughly 5/6, or more than 80%, of the properties in London were destroyed.
Teachers: you could teach and learn more about the damage caused by the fire with these Great Fire of London lesson plans and resources for KS1. They're packed full of even more Great Fire of London facts!
How many died in the Great Fire of London?
Official records vary, although most claim the death toll was in single figures – eight or fewer. Many historians believe that these figures are too low. It is likely that the deaths of many poor people went unrecorded.
How did the Great Fire of London start?
It is believed that in the early hours of the morning, as Londoners slept, a glowing ember fell from the oven of a bakery on Pudding Lane, landing on a pile of fuel nearby.
Who started the fire of London?
Thomas Farriner, the baker of Pudding Lane, was blamed for starting the fire – although there were many other reasons why the fire took hold so easily and spread so quickly.
Why did the Great Fire of London spread so quickly?
That year, London had experienced a long, hot, dry summer – perfect conditions for a fire to spread.
The buildings in the area around the bakery on Pudding Lane were full of flammable goods such as rope, tar, timber and oil.
The narrow streets and houses crammed close together allowed the fire to quickly spread from one building to another, until almost all of London was ablaze.
How did the Great Fire of London impact London?
- Thousands of Londoners were left homeless
- More than 80% of properties were destroyed
- The plague sweeping London at the time ended sooner due to the fire killing many disease-carrying rats and fleas
- Regulations were created to ensure safer buildings were rebuilt
- New houses were built further apart
- A plan to install fire hydrants across the city was devised
- St Paul's Cathedral, destroyed in the blaze, was completely redesigned and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren
- A quarter of Londoners left to live elsewhere after the fire, and never returned
- London's first fire brigade was created (although not until nearly 14 years after the blaze)
- The Monument, a 202-foot tall column, was built by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke
What does the Monument in London commemorate?
The Monument commemorates the Great Fire of London. Designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, it stands at 202 feet tall, as it stands exactly 202 feet from the bakery in Pudding Lane where the fire began.
Teachers: you might like to use this list of Great Fire of London facts in class, or to help your children with their homework! If you would like to expand your teaching and learning about London and the Great Fire, you could use our fantastic Great Fire of London Cross-curricular topic bundle, which contains four complete schemes of work for History, Geography, DT and Art.