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Great Fire of London

The Great Fire of London was a major fire that swept through the City of London on September 2, 1666, and resulted more or less in its destruction. (Before this, the fire which destroyed a large part of the city in 1212 was known by the same name.)

The fire started in a baker's shop in Pudding Lane. Most buildings in London at this time were constructed of highly combustible materials (wood, straw, etc.), and sparks which emanated from the baker's shop fell onto an adjacent building. Fanned by a strong wind, once the fire had taken hold it swiftly spread.

Some 13,200 houses and 87 churches were destroyed, among them St. Paul's Cathedral. Oddly enough only 9 people died in the fire.

The fire had the beneficial effect of killing many of the rats which were responsible for the spread of the Great Plague.

The fire had a marked and varied impact on English society. See Charles II of England, Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys, Ursula Southeil.

The site where the fire started is today marked by a large monument. It is located near Pudding Lane near the northern end of London Bridge. The Monument tube station is named after the monument.

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