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Changes To London After The Great Fire Of London In 1666

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Great Fire Of London Coursework Part 3: In what ways had London changed by 1750 compared to 1650? The years following the Great Fire Of London in 1666 were a period of great change. The fire had severly damaged the city's infrastructure. It had caused an estimated 1 Billion pounds (2005 equivilent) worth of damage to the city. London had changed by 1750 in many ways. The layout, the arcitecture, the business, society, firefighting and the law all changed in this time. One the of biggest and most significant areas of change was the city's design and arcitecture. The city recovered swiftly, as the rebuilding of nearly all of the residential houses was completed within ten years. Immediately preceeding the fire, many different designs wre put forward, by many differnet architects and influencial figures such as John Evelyn. However, none of these designs were accepted due to them being too expensive, inpractical and unrealistic. Due to this, London was rebuilt in a very similar way to the maze like structure it had been.


They went out of function soon and were demolished in the 1760s. However, it was not all change. Many owners of private land refused to change. A majority of buildings were still used for the same function as they were before the fire. Overall, London's buildings and architecture changed rapidly, more than any other area of change. I feel that it changed for the better as many of the buildings still remain today and another similar major tragedy was averted in the future. In both 1650 and 1750, London was a very important and thriving city. It was and remained the hotspot for all the important and rich people of the time, the government and the Royal family. It was the centre for a growing economy both in 1650 and 1750, but by 1750 London had started importing many luxury goods which would have been unheard of in 1650. By the 1750s, Britain was starting to explore remote areas, such as Northern America. During this era, Britain produced one of the best known explorers of all time; James Cook, who discovered Australia.


After the fire, the law was enforced. Firefighting was an area of slow change. The organisation did change quite a lot, as it was inadequate before the fire, but the equipment changed much less rapidly, as it was relatively good, and the major inventions which are used today, were still a long way down the road at that time. Overall, I think that the Great Fire of London sparked a huge amount of change in London in many different aspects, although it was not all change. Buildings, churches and public buldings were rebuilt, often exceeding their former glory. However, what did not change is the structure of the city, as the buildings were built in the same place as the old building. Society changed, as the rich moved and the glimpses of a middle class were seen. There was natural progression in economy, as many other developed countries of the age, were importing the same things that London was. Firefighting equipment was another area of natural progression, but the organisation of a firefighting service did change rapidly with the introduction of insurance. In summary, London went through a period of change; some rapid, some gradual. It was this change that made it into the thriving city it now is.

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