Friday, April 2, 2010

Pudding Lane ( The Great Fire Of London ) The Monument

Were the fire started Pudding Lane



In 1666, London was England's economic powerhouse with an estimated population of 500,000. Its closest rival in size was Bristol with a population of only 30,000.
The city's architecture had changed little from the Middle Ages. Narrow, cobble-stoned, foul-smelling streets doubled as the city's sewers. Many of the streets were lined with homes made of wood and pitch, some four stories high. The upper stories of these homes overhung the lower ones and projected into the street, effectively blocking the sun and decreasing the distance
The Great Fire ravages London between the buildings. This typical construction and London's uncontrolled growth had created a fireman's nightmare: a city dominated by old, dry, wooden structures, tightly packed into a confined space just waiting for a spark to ignite disaster.

The nightmare became reality in the early morning hours of September 2, 1666 when a small fire erupted in the shop of the King's baker. Flames fanned by a steady wind quickly spread to the surrounding neighborhood. By 8 o'clock in the morning the fire had reached the Thames and progressed half way across London Bridge, its advance halted only by a gap in the shops on the bridge.
Elsewhere, the conflagration raged uncontrollably, consuming all in its path for three days. Fire fighters resorted to blowing up buildings with gunpowder in order to deny the inferno its fuel. This, plus the subsiding of the winds, reduced the fire so that it could be extinguished - but not before it gave one last gasp that threatened Westminster.
Thankfully, the loss of life was low, but approximately four fifths of the city had been destroyed. The cataclysm did have some positive outcomes. From the fire's ashes arose a new, better planned city, with wider streets and buildings made of fire-resistant stone. Destroyed by the fire, St. Paul's Cathedral was rebuilt along with 49 other churches. Additionally, the rats that harbored the plague-infected fleas that had devastated the city the previous year were consumed by the flames.

The Monument
The great fire of London broke out in the early hours of Sunday 2nd September 1666 and raged for nearly five days.
The monument was designed by Sir Christopher Wren as part of the rebirth of the city. The monument stands in Fish Street. It is 202 feet 61 metres high and stands 202 feet 61 metres to the west of the spot where the great fire started in Pudding Lane.
It has a 311 spiral staircase leading up to the public viewing platform with breath taking views as seen below.
The views at the top take in a 360 degree spectacular panoramic view of the Past and present of London

Both Aaron and I were awarded a certificate for climbing to the top.

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