Survivors of the Great Fire of London

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St. Bartholomew Gatehouse
St. Bartholomew Gatehouse, West Smithfield

In preparation for a project about the Great Fire of London I visited a clutch of London buildings that are claimed to have survived the flames. (The piece of work now isn’t happening, but I may do something with it in the future). I imagine that there has been a bit of restoration to the facades here and there, but they all seem to have kept their charm.

It’s quite hard to imagine the city of London as it was in the past, full of creaking, jumbled and overhanging wooden buildings. A recent CGI project by students at Leicester de Montfort University tried to recreate it, which is quite successful but not smelly enough:

Also, whilst doing some picture research into Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, I found some old photos of Coventry before it was bombed during the Second World War. Architecture that’s also been lost to fire and destruction, but up until the 1940s I imagine it still had a flavour of what some of London was like before the clumsy baker set fire to his buns.