The Museum of London present a major exhibition entitled , Fire! Fire!, which opens 23rd July 2016. The exhibition marks the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and explores London life on the eve of the fire, the dramatic events that took place as the blaze burned through a quarter of the city in 1666, and how London recovered from the devastation.
Using multimedia digital displays and rare objects from the Museum of London collections, Fire! Fire! is one of the Museum of London’s most immersive and interactive exhibitions to date, with recreations of Pudding Lane and a huge moving panorama of London in flames.
The exhibition begins in Pudding Lane and looks at how the fire started and spread over the next few days. A variety of objects from the fire are shown including a ceramic roof tile that was blackened, melted and bent in half indicating the great heat created from the inferno. Also shown are Burnt padlocks and keys made from iron, found at Monument House excavations on Botolph Lane, near Pudding Lane.
For a visual record of how the fire spread across the city, a large digital map shows the day by day progress.
One of the more unusual exhibits is a restored 17th century fire engine, originally built in London in the late 1670s by John Keeling, the only surviving part when the museum acquired the fire engine in 1928 was the central barrel and pump. The restoration was modelled on a 19th-century photograph of the engine which showed it still intact with its undercarriage, wheels, tow bar and pumping arms.
Although the loss of human life was small, the effects of the fire were catastrophic for many of the 100,000 who were displaced from their homes. Letters, books and paintings give voice to some of the great loss and sufferings experienced by the population.
Rebuilding the damaged part of the City of London became a priority and plans from Sir Christopher Wren are shown to illustrate the mammoth task.
A plaque from the wall of a house in Pudding Lane provides evidence of people using the fire to further their own agendas , plaques and pamphlets suggested that the fire was started deliberately by Catholics to enable foreign powers to take over the city. Although there was no evidence that the fire was anything but an accident, some people looked for scapegoats to blame.
This intriguing and entertaining exhibition explores one of London’s most famous historical disasters from a number of ways. The attractive visual displays illustrate the way the events of September 1666 unfolded and how Londoners responded to the disaster and gradually rebuilt the city.
The exhibition is particularly attractive for families and children with plenty of interactive elements and a wide programme of fire themed walks and tours, lectures, workshops, family activities, children’s sleepovers and festival days.
Fire! Fire! runs from 23 July 2016 – 17 April 2017, tickets priced from £8 for adults and £5 for children online, family tickets are available
Visiting London Guide Rating – Highly Recommended
If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Museum of London website here
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