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Great Fire of London in 1666

What Happened After the Great Fire of London in 1666: Rise From Ashes

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Following the devastating Great Fire of London in 1666, the city faced immediate and long-lasting repercussions. The fire, which began at a bakery on Putting Lane, quickly engulfed the majority of London, leaving 80% of the city in ruins and displacing 65,000 people. Amidst the chaos, exacerbated by ongoing conflicts with France and the Netherlands, paranoia gripped the populace. Immigrants became targets of violence, with rumors blaming them for the fire. Anti-French sentiments led to attacks on individuals of French descent, while Catholics were scapegoated, further dividing an already fractured society. 

In the aftermath, London grappled with a severe housing shortage, leading to exorbitant rent hikes. The city's infrastructure, including its firefighting capabilities, proved inadequate for the scale of the disaster. However, the catastrophe spurred significant changes in fire defense strategies, with the establishment of fire brigades and new building regulations aimed at preventing future disasters. 

Despite initial chaos, London embarked on a remarkable rebuilding effort. Led by architects like Christopher Wren, the city adopted stricter construction standards, favoring brick and stone over wood and thatch. By 1671, the city had replaced thousands of destroyed homes, signaling a rapid recovery. 

The construction of the Monument to the Great Fire, designed by Wren himself, served as a symbol of London's resilience. As the city rose from the ashes, it emerged stronger and more prepared to face future challenges, symbolizing the indomitable spirit of its people. 

Top image: Great Fire of London in 1666. Source: Public Domain 

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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