The summer of 1666 was long, hot and dry. The City of London, with its wooden homes, lit by candles and crammed together in narrow streets, was accustomed to fires. When a blaze broke out in Pudding Lane on the morning of the 2nd of September, no one could have suspected it would lead to such destruction.
The fire changed the face of London in more ways than one.
Teach your children about the Great Fire of London using our handy topic guide!
- Download this complete plan for teaching the Great Fire of London.
- Make your own video about the fire, like this amazing one from Lisle Marsden Primary Academy.
- Write your own diary entry about the fire.
- Imagine you are a journalist covering this fire and write a news report. There are some winning examples on this CBBC page.
- Create your own artwork based on the fire. You could use this painting by Jan Griffier for inspiration.
- Make a list of factors that contributed to the fire and how London changed as a result of each one.
- Download our Great Fire of London Pack for a comprehensive guide and loads of useful resources.
- Use our display banner and writing templates.
- Download these free resources for a cross-curricular approach to the Great Fire of London from the Historical Association. There is also a unit on Samuel Pepys.
- Try these music, dance and drama ideas from BBC School Radio.
- This great CBBC page has lots of information.
Great Fire of London Knowledge Organiser
Members of Teaching Packs can download a comprehensive knowledge organiser to accompany this topic. It includes key information that your children can use for reference and research, along with a timeline of events, key people, a glossary of related vocabulary and more.
Not a member yet? Join us today!
Great Fire of London Facts
- The Great Fire of London began in the early hours of the 2nd of September 1666.
- In 1666 there were no professional fire fighters. The fire was fought by local people, and soldiers.
- Amazingly, only a few people are recorded as having died during the fire. This is probably because most deaths were not recorded. Thousands died the following winter as the conditions in the temporary accommodation erected after the fire were terrible.
- Samuel Pepys kept a diary of the fire, which is one of the main sources of information about it.
- After the fire, wooden buildings were banned in the City.
Fly Through Pudding Lane.
Explore this amazing 3D representation of 17th century London before The Great Fire.
Running time: 3:29
This song tells the story of the Great Fire of London. It’s ideal for primary / first grade school topic work and singing assemblies, and is available as a digital teachers resource pack.
Running time: 3:44
Young Nick Truelove blames King Charles II for the death of his parents, and vows to get revenge. He forms a special friendship with a young raven and is inspired by its bold behaviour. But the Great Fire and an encounter with the King himself will change Nick’s life for ever.
It’s 1666 and Vlad the flea and his friend Boxton the rat, love eating and biting their way around London. But one night in Pudding Lane they are caught up in a fire that threatens to destroy them, along with most of the City of London.
As famous diary-keeper Samuel Pepys, you’ll witness four days and four nights of fire and live to tell the tale. Find out how people lived in the London of 1666, how they coped in the aftermath and all importantly, whodunnit! – or at least who we think dunnit!
From the outbreak of the fire at a bakery on Pudding lane, to fire fighting techniques and meddling Lord Mayors, The Great Fire Unclassified takes readers on a journey back in time to uncover the true story behind London’s most destructive ever fire.
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