Home
Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Shakespeare for Kids
• Discover Our Collection
Open City
The Great Fire

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

The Great Fire and St. Paul's



Shakespeare for Kids

Samuel Rolle. Shilhavtiyah. London, 1667

Early in the morning of September 2, 1666, a terrible fire broke out in London.  Becase the city's streets were narrow and houses were built close together, the fire spread easily. Within hours, the fire had moved through several neighborhoods.

 

By the time it was extinguished several days later, nearly 100,000 people were homeless.  The fire had destroyed houses, shops, and churches, as well as major city landmarks. London Bridge was partially burnt down, and so was St. Paul's cathedral, the city's largest church.

 

After the fire, people were angry and wanted to find someone to blame. The British government launched an investigation, and eventually a French winemaker named Robert Hubert confessed to starting the fire. Although most of the judges did not think Hubert was guilty, he was convicted and sentenced to death. For many years, the true cause of the fire—a bakery in Pudding Lane—was overlooked.

 

In the decades following the Great Fire, Londoners focused on new houses, churches, and business to replace the old ones. Within 25 years, most of what had been lost in the fire had been rebuilt. One of the biggest projects was rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral. The famous architect Sir Christopher Wren was chosen for the job. You can still see St. Paul's Cathedral today, designed as Christopher Wren imagined it over 300 years ago.  

  

 
Gipkyn. Old St Paul's. Oil on panel, 1616



St. Paul's Cathedral





Bookmark and Share   
 
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
RSS   
 
  Address:
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
    Hours:
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
    Phone:
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623