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a tale of Restoration intrigue by

Molly Brown

The City

London was still officially bounded by Ludgate and Newgate on the west; Aldersgate, Cripplesgate, Moorgate, and Bishopsgate on the north, and Aldgate on the east. Before the Great Fire, the suburbs didn't extend beyond the modern Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road. After the fire, the city moved further west, and west became more fashionable.

In the city, the streets for shopping were Fleet Street, Ludgate, and Cheapside. Items available included pottery, musical instruments, tobacco pipes, barometers, clocks, guns, lacquered cabinets, mathematical instruments, haberdashery, gold and silver-ware.

Streets were roughly paved, ditches were not railed off, and there were many accidents with coaches falling over, occasionally killing pedestrians. Pavements were narrow or non-existent.

The Great Fire started on 2nd September 1666 in a bakehouse in Pudding Lane and did not burn itself out until the 6th.

From John Evelyn's diary:

The Great Fire of London left its mark on the city for at least twenty years - throughout much of the 1670s and 80s, many important landmarks were still being rebuilt.

Christopher Wren Christopher Wren submitted his designs for a new St. Paul's in 1669; the actual building work began in 1675. The building didn't open until 1697 and wasn't declared finished until 1711.

cock pit london bridge gresham the tower barts fleet prison start of tour home

(c) 1996 Molly Brown