From the 2nd to 5th September 1666, a torrent of flames swept through the City of London, carrying devastation behind it and destroying the homes of 70,000 of the city’s 80,000 inhabitants, which became known historically as The Great Fire of London.
A series of free art and experiential events will take place across the City, Southbank and Bankside from 30th August to 4th September 2016 and will illustrate the resilience and resourcefulness of the people of London during the great fire.
The lack of fire safety regulation and official fire brigade contributed to the destruction of the 17th century London buildings, which were packed tightly together and constructed from timber. Combined with the drought caused by a long dry summer, the blaze spread with ease. Following the destruction from the fire, the City of London’s buildings were required to be built from brick and stone and equipped with buckets and fire squirts to protect the city and its people from future fires. This early example of regulation can still be seen in practice to this day – although buckets have since been replaced with fire detectors and extinguishers.
Great Fire 350 is the official commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the tragedy and is supported by the Fire Safety Circle of companies, including Apollo. This is an umbrella season of lectures, tours, artwork installations and experiences across the location of the fire that tells the story of the disaster. The events will celebrate the advances in fire detection, the success and resilience of the City and the positive influence on London as a worldwide capital.