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By (fire) hook or by crook. During the Great Fire of London there was no such thing as a fire brigade. Instead each parish had its own fire fighting equipment and this fire hook was featured heavily. Along with buckets, ladders and axes, parish locals were expected to use these items to fight fires themselves. Hooks were used to help pull down buildings in advance of the fire, or to demolish already burning houses to prevent the fire from spreading.
No ball games | Museum of London
We're not sure about you, but we've felt like 2020 has blurred into one long continuous month without the usual milestone events, like the UEFA Euro 2020 Football Championship. So, while the championship (which was meant to take place in June) has been rescheduled to next year, we've been looking at moments in London’s history when football was either banned or postponed.
Time to crack out those dancing shoes! Our #DubLondon display is opening THIS Friday and we can't wait for you all to immerse yourself in the Dub Reggae culture, community and sound. Book free tickets for its first week and don't forget to pack your headphones 🎧 https://bit.ly/33fqVOT © Adrian Boot / Urbanimage
Bronze Age dagger
This dagger from the early Bronze age was found in the Thames near Bermondsey. A large number of daggers like this one have actually been found in graves and other rivers. Experience the dagger in 3D here: https://bit.ly/345mbvV
If we told you you were currently looking at a scale model of St Paul's Cathedral, would you think we'd lost the plot? Before the Great Fire of London destroyed it, this was what the London landmark would have looked like — a far cry from the iconic domed building we know today. This is one of a series of models of historic London buildings made in the early 1900s by John B Thorp (1862-1939). The model is made of wood and card, at a scale of 1/8 inch to a foot (1:96). It is based on Thorp's own research and (although some features are debatable) an excellent reconstruction of the likely appearance of the cathedral before the loss of its spire in 1561 and its final destruction in the Great Fire.
If you're a street food fan, try to imagine the kerb-side vendors of the late 16th century baking pies, bread and other goodies in this portable oven on the back of a cart. Cooks would light a fire inside its ceramic interior and test the temperature by splashing water or spitting inside (there were no hygiene ratings in those days!) and listening for a hiss as it evaporated. In style and shape, the oven isn't unlike the one that Thomas Farriner, who owned the bakery where the Great Fire of London started, would have had, though his would have been a much larger brick version.
These bricks, excavated in 1979 from the cellar of a shop on Pudding Lane where the Great Fire of London broke out in 1666, can tell us a lot about the way in which the fire spread centuries ago. On their surface are the remains of pitch, a tar-like substance kept in barrels and used for waterproofing boats. Pitch is highly combustible. The cellar was just a couple of doors away from the bakery where the fire started, so once these barrels of pitch set alight they would have quickly spread the fire to the warehouses along the thames, which were filled with flammable materials like hemp, coal, timber, wine and oil. From there, the fire would have raged out of control along the wharves and be driven into the City by the high winds.
This view of London from around 1600 is one of very few surviving paintings to give a generalised view over the City. It was drawn from the church tower of St Mary Overy (now Southwark Cathedral), which was a popular viewpoint for artists depicting the city. The vista is not topographically accurate, and has been compressed to include various landmarks. Starting at the left, we can see Whitehall, and prominently towards the right of the centre we can see Old London Bridge. Built between 1176 and 1209, it was the first stone bridge to cross the Thames. At that time, it was surmounted by houses, shops and a chapel, and its gatehouse on the Southwark side was regularly adorned with the severed heads of traitors, as can be seen here. The houses were removed and the bridge widened in the late 18th century before it was finally demolished in 1831. To the far right, we can see the river bend. The artist is unknown, but likely to be from the Netherlands. The piece relates to a print by Clement de Jongh ( fl. 1640-70) and has been tentatively dated by means of technical analysis of the panel to 1625-1655.
The Great Fire of London | Witness accounts
It can be hard to imagine the horror Londoners faced when the Great Fire ripped through the city in 1666. Listen to these witness accounts, for just a small idea of what it would have been like to live through it.
Peking Opera | Listening to London
In this interview, a Chinese immigrant recalls her love for Peking opera, and describes how she had to “teach herself” to love its European counterpart after moving to London. Many migrant communities’ memories of home continue through music in this way. This is just one oral history from our Listening to London project. Find out more: http://bit.ly/PekingOperaOralHistory
Who's ready for another round of Guess The Mystery Object? Share your guesses in the comments and we'll let you know if you're right! Although perplexing, this item is not totally uncommon in the Archive’s store of archaeology. It's made from a mushroom-shaped lump of glass, which has decayed over centuries to leave a rainbow shine over the surface. This particular example is incomplete, and would have once had a handle. It may have been heated.
Photos from Museum of London's post
For almost 300 years a buried treasure lay undisturbed below one of London's busiest streets. Discovered by workmen in 1912, the Cheapside Hoard is the greatest single collection of Elizabethan and Stuart jewellery in the world. We're sure you'll be pleased to hear that it will have its own designated gallery in our new museum at West Smithfield. The Hoard reflects London’s role in the international gem and jewellery trade and it contains an astonishing array of almost 500 dazzling jewels and gemstones from many parts of the world. Ready more about this historic discovery here: https://bit.ly/CheapsideHoard1