Virtual Workshop: The Great Fire of London

Welcome to The Swan, a London tavern. It is October 1666, and the recent “Great Fire” is all anyone can talk about. Landlord John Wilkins has heard it all – especially from his most famous guest, diarist Samuel Pepys. And Mr Wilkins is happy to share what he has heard as the city works to recover from the fire.

Topics covered during the discussion include:

  • The impact of the fire on residents.
  • Samuel Pepy’s diary entries about the fire.
  • Methods residents tried against the fire.
  • Possible causes of the fire.
  • How King Charles II and the Duke of York responded to the fire.
  • How the fire progressed.
  • The creation of fire insurance.
  • London’s first steps at recovery after the fire.



How Does the Workshop Work?

The new workshops consist of two key elements:

  • Individual activities kits for each child in your group .
  • A pre-recorded video made by our knowledgeable teachers.

The workshops can take place in your own room at your own pace – we give you access to the video for several days, so you can rewind, replay, or break up the activities as you see fit.

Most schools find that the workshops fill half a day, although you can spread them out as you see fit.

For a small additional fee, you can add an optional hour of “live” teaching time with one of our qualified teachers. This extra time, which takes place via video conferencing software, offers extra engagement to the day and allows the children to probe further into the learning.


What Activities are Included?

Shown are a scent bag, a copper foil fire plaque, a pottery candleholder, a small weaving sample and a thank you note to King Charles II.
Items the children make during the virtual workshop.

As mentioned, each child will receive an activities kit to match the video. There are a few basic supplies such as PVA glue, scissors, and pencils that the school will need to provide, but otherwise the children will receive the necessary materials to make five projects:

  • A weaving sample
  • Scent bags
  • A pottery candleholder
  • A thank-you note
  • A fire insurance plaque made with copper foil

The workshop will also come with an information sheet for teachers, which will detail the learning outcomes, extra supplies that might be needed and possible follow-up learning.

How Much Does a Virtual Workshop Cost?

Please visit our pricing page for the latest costings.


How Do I Book a Workshop?

Please feel free to contact us by form, e-mail or telephone. Let us know the week you would like to use the workshop, and whether you would like the optional live teaching time, and we are happy to help.

Since the virtual workshops do not depend on our diary, you may order them at anytime. (But do allow enough time for delivery!)


Do You Offer an In-School Version of the Workshop?

Yes! Our in-school workshop covers much of the same material as our virtual workshop — learn more on our Great Fire of London page.

Please be aware, however, that we operate in a limited travel area, and mileage (and possibly B&B charges) will apply. If your school is far from our offices, and/or your group is very small, a virtual workshop may be a better fit for you.

Feel free to contact us with questions and we are happy to look at options with you.