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A True and Exact Prospect of the Famous City of London, from the St Marie Overs Steeple in Southwarke in its flourishing condition before the fire

A True and Exact Prospect of the Famous City of London, from the St Marie Overs Steeple in Southwarke in its flourishing condition before the fire

Engraver: Hollar, Wenceslaus

Medium: Engraving

Date: 1666

Shelfmark: K.Top. XXI

Item number: 36

Length: 23.8

Width: 68.5

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Topographical Print

Two views of the City of London before and after the Great Fire of 1666. This shows the extent of the damaged caused by the fire, from the Tower of London in the east to Temple in the west. Daniel Defoe commented 'I shall not inquire, whether the city was burnt by accident, or treachery, yet nothing was more certain, than that as the city stood before, it was strangely exposed to the disaster which happen'd, and the buildings look'd as if they had been form'd to make one general bonefire'. This was because the streets were narrow, the houses all built of timber, lath and plaster and many houses were built with stories which projected outwards. Any fire could therefore spread easily from one side of a street to the other. The fire destroyed almost 400 acres within the City Walls, 87 churches and at some estimates 13,200 houses.

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