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Museum of London
150 London Wall, London, EC2Y 5HN
0207 001 9844
20-Jul-16 to 17-Apr-17
Mon-Fri, Sat, Sun, 10am-6pm, See webiste
350 years ago one of the most infamous disasters struck London – the Great Fire of 1666.
Experience the destruction of London through the eyes of people who were there at the time, explore the evidence for yourself and find out how the city rose from the ashes in this interactive exhibition.
Woodcut of mother and child escaping the fire. Part of Fire! Fire! creative
Go back in time as you explore and engage with the exhibition's immersive displays...
Step into Pudding Lane and see what life was like for ordinary Londoners in the 17th century
Walk into the bakery where the fire started and see how the flames spread across the city
Play archaeologist and identify real objects melted by the flames
Hear the rarely told personal stories of the people affected by the disaster
Try your hand at rebuilding the London that rose again from the ashes
Times and prices are subject to change. Contact venue before setting out.
"London's burning, London's burning..." FIRE, FIRE heralds a new exhibition at The Museum of London until 17 April 2017. Guaranteed to fuel the imagination of even the youngest of visitors!
What British child hasn't grown up with this historical nursery rhyme about an oven fire in Pudding Lane that destroyed much of London and reshaped our capital city's skyline forever? The Museum of London currently has a must-see interactive exhibition, marking the 350th anniversary of the infamous disaster.
Ideal for everyone with an interest in London History, young and old, including families. It is very much an exhibition on two levels. There are many detailed and informative facsimile documentation and architectural drawings (particularly as the exhibition progresses) to fascinate the adults' (and older children's) inquiring minds. Yet there's no shortage of hands-on exhibits and activities to keep younger visitors entertained and immersed in the experience too. Quirky touches guaranteed to spark the latter's imagination (is that a pun?), such as the giant flatbread map of London and the loaves ceiling installation.
From actual charred artefacts (including locks, keys, plates, tiles and even a stained glass window) and masonry dating back to the Fire of London, rescued from the archaeological ashes, to the three amazing virtual Minecraft 'maps' (pre, during and post fire) created to give visitors a unique immersive experience, this is an exhibition which marries the old with the new. It succeeds in contemporising learning about History and making it more relevant across generations, including to younger visitors brought up with gaming and 'digital' distractions integral to their lives.
Entering the exhibition thro' a true to the times 1666 narrow and dark street 'gateway' does two important things as far as telling the tale is concerned. It gives an immediate feel as to why fire and flames spread so rapidly and catastrophically thro' London. Moreover, it transports one straight back to that era. This is built upon by stepping into the listening booths to hear personal accounts of the people affected by the disaster.
The exhibition is a very well laid out walk thro' experience, following the chronology of the Great Fire of London and its aftermath. It is spaciously arranged, almost as if it's been designed to accommodate the classes of school children who will no doubt visit as part of their National Curriculum KS1 studies in the months to come. To our minds it has been designed to maximise the visitor's experience without too many 'huddle' points which can be off-putting at busy times.
We were extremely lucky to visit within days of the exhibition opening and during the July heatwave, so it was uncharacteristically quiet as Museum of London exhibitions go and truth be told all the more enjoyable for it. Of the visitors there most were families enjoying a leisurely and quality experience. The low footfall meant that one could really pause to reflect on each and every exhibit without feeling hurried or hassled to move on - a rare luxury indeed!
Only quibble was that we didn't notice the family-favoured Fire of London tableau (complete with lights to demonstrate the spread of the fire across the city) that has fired our imaginations on every previous visit to the Museum of London. Maybe it's having a well-deserved rest but it was missed by us!
And with tickets starting at from just £4 for children (over 5s), £8 for their grown-ups and a range of family tickets available, this must-see exhibition is a great and bargainaceous day out, particularly if combined with other related workshops and activities being run in conjunction with it AND a walk to see and climb up/down Monument.
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