Special Interest Day – February 2017

We will be holding a Special Interest Day on Thursday February 2nd exploring the Great Fire of London and the opportunities it gave for a redesign of our capital city.

The Great Fire is arguably the most important watershed in the history of London. It destroyed nearly 80% of the city; thousands of citizens found themselves homeless and financially ruined.

Many saw the events as a divine judgement on the newly restored monarchy of Charles II. Alarm gave way to superstition and then to anger as some of the wealthiest were seen to profit from the disaster.  

Within a few years however wider streets and buildings of brick had replaced those of the medieval and Tudor capital. In retrospect the entrepreneurial skills that were required to rebuild the city helped to provide the basis for London’s future prosperity.  

The study day will examine the events of the Fire through eye-witnesses such as Samuel Pepys; and go on to explore the rebuilding of the city, with a special emphasis on the work of Sir Christopher Wren.

The day will be run by Gerald Deslandes. Gerald is a consultant and fundraiser for arts organisations, take groups on visits to galleries and gives art history talks to students in continuing education. He was our guide in Vienna when EHDFAS visited in 2014. And a really splendid guide he was – highly knowledgeable and with a nice sense of humour.  February’s SID will be an excellent day!