Thames Angel

Samuel Pepys

the walk

Thames Angel Walk
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Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

The Great Plague

The Great Plague

Historic Sightings

King Charles II

King Charles II

The Blitz

The Blitz

The Thames

The Thames

Southwark

Southwark

Jubilee Gardens

Jubilee Gardens

THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON
Fire was an ever-present danger in seventeenth century cities. London’s timber-framed houses were built very close together on narrow streets, and each storey would jut out above the one below, with one house nearly meeting the other across the street. The fire started at a bakery on Pudding Lane in the heart of the City of London. After the long, hot summer the buildings were tinder-dry and the fire spread in no time at all. King Charles II, back on the throne after the Civil War had wreaked havoc with the country, ordered many buildings to be pulled down to create a fire break. This didn’t work and the fire ran it’s course for five days, with even the King himself helping with the fire-fighting effort - almost unheard-of in a time when the king was considered virtually divine.

  The Great Fire monument, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, who designed much of the re-built London, stands two hundred and two feet from where the fire started in Pudding Lane.

THE GREAT PLAGUE
Althought the Black Death had swept through Europe two centuries before, Bubonic Plague had never really completely dissappeared and had been a fact of life to the British people since the middle ages. The Great Plague of 1665, however, was unprecedented in it’s scale and spared neither the rich nor poor.


There were many superstitions as to what was spreading the disease. Some thought it was ill vapours borne on the wind, while others decided that it must be spread by dogs and cats. This led to the mass slaughter of cats and dogs throughout London. Of course we now know that Bubonic Plague was spread by rat fleas, and that by killing the rat’s only natural predator the people of London were only making the problem worse.

 

  It was the Great Fire in the following year really put an end to the plague. It was almost as if nature had decided to cleanse the city of it’s filth and vermin.

One of the main planks of evidence that the angel appearances relate to the six heroes of the Great Fire of 1666 is that most of the sightings have been around the Jubilee Gardens area.
Of course they have only recently become known as Jubilee Gardens, in fact it was in 1977, as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. The Queen watched the fireworks from this particular location, and the entire walkway was named Jubilee Walkway.

Previously the area had been used for another festival - the Festival of Britain, featuring the famous Skylon. The Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank was opened by King George VI as part of the festival and the appearance of this part of London was changed forever.  

  In Elizabethan times the area was also used by pleasure-seekers as it was home not only to Shakespeare’s Globe and Rose Theatres, but to bear bating arenas, dog and cock fights and all manner of what would today be considered unpleasant entertainment.

At the time of the Great Fire of London this part of the South Bank, although it suffered drainage problems, was already heavily populated as Southwark was a popular alternative docking area for merchant ships who didn’t want to pay the high prices for unloading across the river.

Presumably the bodies of the six were taken to this part of London because it was the closest place to set up a morgue.

 

 

 

 


Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys

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Samuel Pepys

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