Title: A Plan for Rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666

By: (Wren, Christopher)

Map id: 52415
Published date: 1770 circa

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A Plan for Rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666

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Long title: A Plan for Rebuilding the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666; Design'd by that Great Architect Sr Chris r Wren; & approv'd of by King & Parliament but unhappily defeated by Faction. Copper engraving by Sparrow with later hand colouring. Overall size, hinged, in off-white fully conservation grade mount and back with decorative v groove : 49.7cms.x 34.8cms. Image size : 340mm.x 193mm. The Great Fire of September 1666 laid waste five sixths of the walled area of the medieval city, from Fleet Street in the west to the Tower of London in the east, and north from the bank of the Thames to the wall at Cripplegate. London Bridge was not affected, as a previous fire of 1633 had cleared an area at its north end which stopped the flames of 1666 spreading. Within the area of the fire no buildings survived intact above ground, though churches of stone, and especially their towers, were only partly destroyed and now stood as gaunt and smoking ruins. In many places the ground was too hot to walk on for several days afterwards. In many places the ground was too hot to walk on for several days afterwards. At least 65,000 people had been made homeless by the Fire. At first they camped in the fields outside the walls, but within days had dispersed to surrounding villages or other parts of London. Rents soared in the unburnt area, but somehow accommodation was found for all who needed it. Much merchandise had been destroyed, and there was virtually no fire insurance, so many people were ruined, and some moved away permanently. See article by Dr John Schofield http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/after_fire_01.shtml This is a reduced version of Sir Christopher Wren's plan for rebuilding London after the Great Fire which destroyed seven-eighths of the city. Wren was a Professor of Astronomy at Oxford with interest in the science of architecture, he was among the first to submit a proposal after the catastrophe. The narrow streets that had helped spread the fires have been replaced by monumental avenues radiating from piazzas. The classical buildings and formal street plans that Wren had studied in Paris and Rome are a clear influence. He also proposed constructing a Thameside quay from Bridewell to the Tower, replacing the ramshackle wooden wharf-side buildings with warehouses. A vignette of Tamesis (a river god), with London burning in the background has been added to the border. Wren's plan was never used.

Subject London
Map maker (Wren, Christopher)
Publisher No
Published at year 1770 circa

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