- Fire of London
- In 1666, from September 2nd to 6th.Commenced at the house of a baker in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge, and spread through the narrow streets and lanes of the City with extraordinary rapidity. Its progress west was only stopped within the Temple precincts by the blowing up of some of the buildings near the church, the empty space thus provided serving to arrest its further progress.Northwards it extended to Barber Surgeons' Hall in Monkwell Street (H. MSS. Com. 11th Rep. VII. 85).It was stopped at the Temple, Fetter Lane, Pye Corner, Cow Lane, Little Britain, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, middle of Coleman Street and Broad Street, Bishopsgate and the middle of Fenchurch Street, 1666 (ib. 12th Rep. 42). After the fire, so complete was the ruin, that the Thames could be seen from Cheapside, 1666 (ib. 12th Rep. VII. 41-42).The extent of the area destroyed within the City was 373 acres in addition to an extent of nearly 64 acres outside the walls, and 75 acres, 3 roods only remained within the walls. It consumed 89 parish churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral, besides chapels, and 13,200 houses. Eleven parishes only remained standing within the walls. The cause of the outbreak is unknown. It purged the City of the plague, but it destroyed many of its finest buildings, which might otherwise have survived as noble specimens of architectural beauty and as links with the past.Many plans were projected for the rebuilding of the City, notably those of Sir Christopher Wren and Sir John Evelyn, and though the rebuilding was eventually entrusted in great measure to Sir Christopher Wren, yet he was not permitted to carry out his plans to rebuild the City on the new lines he had laid down, the streets and houses being for the most part reconstructed on their former sites.The Monument (q.v.) was erected to commemorate the lamentable event.
A Dictionary of London. Henry A Harben. 1918.