Great Fire Of London Anniversary Exhibition Reveals Burnt Artefacts On Display At Museum of London

The burnt and twisted items reveal the devastating power of the fire.

20/07/2016 16:26

Padlocks, keys, scorched plate and even a waffle iron are among the scorched remnants that have been revealed in a new exhibition to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London.

A small fire began in the bakery of Thomas Farriner, on Pudding Lane, on the night of Thursday, 2 September 1666.

Although Farriner claimed to have extinguished it, his whole house was ablaze by 1am and the fire it quickly spread down the street and nearby Fish Hill.

Hulton Archive via Getty Images
A view from a painting of the great fire of London, as seen from the Thames

Closely-packed buildings made from timber and pitch burnt easily and the fire was helped by winds, swallowing up much of the city.

By the time the fire was finally beaten - after three days - 13,200 houses, 87 parish churches, The Royal Exchange, Guildhall and St. Paul’s Cathedral had all been destroyed.

London may have been rebuilt but but a number of items still exist to this day which reveal the power of the flames which devastated the city back in 1666.

  • Museum of London
    Burnt padlocks and key found at Monument House excavations on Botolph Lane. The x-ray reveals the detail.
  • Museum of London
    Melted iron key found amongst Great Fire debris on Botolph Lane, fused into a clump with other pieces of ironwork.
  • Museum of London
    Waffle-making tongs found at excavations on Botolph Lane.
  • Museum of London
    Burnt Geneva Bible, 1608, reportedly rescued from the Great Fire.
  • Museum of London
    Blackened and warped ceramic roof tile which should be flat and terracotta in colour has been bent in half by temperatures over 1500oC.
  • Museum of London
    Bubbled and burnt shard of plate from a cellar on Pudding Lane, two doors down from the Thomas Farriner’s bakery.
  • Museum of London
    Hoard of 17th-century glass found underneath burnt debris during excavations of a cellar on Gracechurch Street.
  • Museum of London
    Blue and white tin-glazed earthenware decorated floor tile. Quadrant tile with the so-called 'star and tulip' design in blue on white. Blackened by the Great Fire of London.
  • Museum of London
    Melted and fused iron hooks and eyes from Pudding Lane excavations
  • Museum of London
    Leather bucket c.1666 excavated from a burnt house on Lower Thames Street
  • Museum of London
    This fire mark from 1701 is from the Hand in Hand Fire Office, established after the Great Fire in 1696.

Also on display is a fire engine from the late 1670s, faithfully restored used traditional techniques and materials by Croford Coachbuilders, as well as an array of other items.

The items are appearing as part of a the Fire! Fire! exhibition, which opens at the Museum of London on 23 July.

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