The Great Fire of London began on 2 September 1666 in a bakery in Pudding Lane, near London Bridge. Aided by strong winds and densely packed wooden buildings, by 5 September half of the old Medieval city of London had been burnt down, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
Despite the king ordering houses to be pulled down to create a fire break, by the time it was over, over three quarters of the old city’s population was homeless. On the plus side, only six people were ‘officially’ killed (records of deaths of the poorest were not kept at this time), the previous Plague was burnt out, and a new, finer London was rebuilt, overseen by Sir Christopher Wren.
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