London Burning – The Great Fire of London

Contributor: Roxann Penny. Lesson ID: 12369

Fires are about the scariest tragedies that can happen, and we never think it can happen to us! Many years ago, a huge fire destroyed much of London, England. They were not prepared, but you can be!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

On September 2, 1666, the city of London was burned to the ground. When the flames were finally extinguished, an estimated 100,000 people were left homeless, and over 13,000 buildings were destroyed — and it all started because of . . . pudding?

Now, you may be wondering, what does pudding have to do with the Great Fire of London?

The answer is, nothing — well, almost nothing. This tragic fire was not actually started by a glob of pudding, but the fire did begin in a bakery on Pudding Lane near London Bridge. This massive fire lasted more than three days, and when it was all done, thousands of buildings were destroyed, including St. Paul's Cathedral. One man, Samuel Pepy (pronounced peep) witnessed the fire and documented what he saw in a dairy. Today, Pepy's diary serves as a primary source for the events that unfolded during the time of the fire.

Listen to the following podcast from HistoryPod, 2nd September 1666: Great Fire of London breaks out in Pudding Lane, to learn more about what happened to the city of London on September 2, 1666. Take note of any interesting details you may hear:

Image - Video


Now that you have listened to the podcast, what are your thoughts about the fire? Did you learn anything interesting? Discuss with your instructor your thoughts about what occurred. Here are some questions to consider in your discussion:

  • Could the fire have been prevented?
  • How do you think the people of the city felt during and after this event?
  • What lessons, if any, do you think the citizens of London learned about fire safety?
  • How do you think the city of London approached future fires?
  • How long do you think it took to rebuild the city?

Take a look at this discussion, presented by King's College in London, on the impact the fire had on the city. The Great Fire of London - what impact did it have on the city?

Image - Video


Talk with your parent or teacher about some of the ways in which the city of London was different after The Great Fire.

When you are done, continue on to the Got It? section to review what you have learned.

Image - Button Next