Today is the 349th anniversary of the outbreak of fire in Thomas Farriner’s bakery in Pudding Lane. The weather was hot and dry, with a stiff breeze blowing. Londoners were unprepared, water in the Thames was low and the leather hoses had been eaten by rats. Despite inaction from Thomas Bloodworth, Mayor of London, attempts were made to create firebreaks by demolishing buildings. Only six fatalities were recorded but wooden houses with thatched roofs burn quickly in dry conditions and many of London’s homes and churches were destroyed. Molten lead from the roof of St. Paul’s ruined many books. Samuel Pepys, famous for providing us with an account of the fire, notoriously buried his wine and cheese in order to keep it safe.
Swords and Spindles’ costumed characters use appropriate artefacts to offer interactive sessions for schools based on the story of the Great Fire and life at the time. Be part of a London family, learn about their home and food, make the butter, play with the toys of the time, wear the clothes of the seventeenth century or help to put out the fire and much more. We are now taking bookings for the new school year.