Great Fire of London

Children dressed as 17th-century Londoners work with herbs, mortars and pestles.
Children make herbal remedies at the apothecary table.

London bustles in 1666. Rampant growth results in closely built timber-frame buildings crowded within the ancient city walls. The city survived an outbreak of bubonic plague the previous year, and the city’s population hopes the worst is over.

But a fire burns in a Pudding Lane bakery.

The children start the morning by becoming apprentices on the streets of London, learning skills common for workers of the era: leather working, metal working, sewing, etc.

As the children learn their trades, the fire spreads. With the flames drawing closer, the children must take action to stop it, including forming fire lines and tearing down local buildings. Will their efforts be enough?

(View our risk assessment of the day’s activities in a new tab.)

In the afternoon, the children excavate what is left of the charred city, looking for personal belongings and important legal documents that can help the city start the process of rebuilding.



How You Contribute to the Day

To make the most of your children’s day, please help us with the following:

  • Adult helpers: The number of children participating determines how many work stations our Teacher brings. Please recruit a corresponding number of adults (teachers, TAs, parents) to oversee the activities and the afternoon session. (Your booking form lists the exact number needed.)
  • The school hall: Please reserve the school hall for the full day (it is not a problem if it is used for lunch).
  • Costumes: Please encourage the children to dress up in simple costumes. It helps them feel the part.

Please note that we still require adult helpers for in-school days. If this conflicts with your schools coronavirus policies, please let us know — a virtual workshop might be a better option for your school.


What to Wear

Costumes need not be complicated — we suggest the following “homemade” alternatives:

  • Boys: A large plain shirt with a large collar and a belt or cord around the waist; a plain waistcoat, if you have one; and plain, dark, baggy trousers (such as track suit bottoms) tucked into long socks.
  • Girls: A plain shirt with a large collar; a long, preferably plain skirt; a man’s plain waistcoat, if you have one; a plain white apron; flat, sturdy shoes; and a plain white head scarf.

For those who prefer, we offer a bespoke costume service through History Off the Peg. We sell inexpensive costumes for both children and adults.

View costume options and pricing on our website, Place an order by sending an e-mail containing your name, your school, the date of the event, the topic, your child’s age and your child’s size to



Photos of the In-School Day: