Point of Ignition: Where the Great Fire of London REALLY Started

For precisely 350 years, everyone in England believed that Pudding Lane was THE London hotspot—the place, on the property of Thomas Farriner’s bakery, that the Great Fire of London sparked. Then a historian and House of Commons Clerk said nope, not so. Yes, the Great Fire began—as generations of British school children had learned—on the…

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A Flat with a View: Ni’s place in Bankside

In And by Fire DI Nigella Parker enjoys a posh lifestyle. Not, to be clear, on her salary from the City Police of London (I am writing fiction, not fantasy), but because she comes from a wealthy, Oxbridge educated family. Central to her daily life is a flat in Bankside purchased with money inherited from…

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Sir Christopher Wren’s Stamp on a NEW London

In 1666 when London caught fire, Christopher Wren wasn’t the city’s most famous architect—not by a long shot. Just thirty-three years old, Wren was considered an amateur in the field, albeit a passionate one. His actual job was as a Professor of Astronomy at Oxford (where he’d also been commissioned to design and build a…

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Helping London Rise Again . . . Allegorically

While London’s Monument to the Great Fire is, as a whole, splendid, its most significant artistic element is Caius Gabriel Cibber’s stunning bas-relief stone panel on its West face. So lets have a closer look (see, told you in my Monument Post that I’d get back to it). Cibber’s carving is allegorical, depicting post-Great-Fire London…

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