Home Culture History Goodness gracious, great balls of fire

Goodness gracious, great balls of fire


1September 2nd, 2016 was the 350th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1666 Great Fire of London. The fire destroyed four-fifths of the City – nearly all of the civic buildings and around 13,000 private houses. Amazingly there were only six reported deaths.


The City of London had barely recovered from the bubonic plague that had swept through the capital the previous year, which, in stark contrast to the fire, killed an estimated 100,000 people – a quarter of the population at the time.

Graphic image of burial pits outside the city

To commemorate the anniversary, on the evening of September 2 this year – witnessed by thousands of people lining the banks of the River Thames – a 122-metre long wooden model of the City, built on a floating deck, was set alight to create a spectacular re-enactment of the event.

Preparation for the event
The model in full flame

And to mark the anniversary, Great Britain’s Royal Mail have issued a commemorative presentation pack, first day cover and stamp set. These attractive items graphically represent the chronology of the fire.



 6,756 total views,  1 views today

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Previous articleOh we do like to be beside the seaside
Next articleThe Englishman Who Posted Himself and Other Curious Objects

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.