Matt writes a Guardian feature on the Great Fire!

September 1, 2016
by matthewgreen

To celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire, I have written a feature for the Guardian.

Read the full feature here.

Normally at this time of year, newspapers consider which buildings survived the Great Fire and tell us where we can see them today.

But I thought it would be fun to turn this on its head and explore which iconic buildings were destroyed in the Fire.

What buildings would tourists visit today if they hadn’t been razed to the ground? Baynard’s Castle? Gothic St Paul’s? Dick Whittington’s Longhouse, the biggest public toilets in the country?

But the more I researched, the more I discovered that so many architectural wonders from the medieval, Tudor and Caroline ages survived the Great Fire, only to be demolished later, like the wildly eccentric Nonsuch House on London Bridge, a fantastic gargoyle-and-glass mansion in Crutched Friars, and Northumberland House on the Strand.

Nonsuch House

An illustration of Nonsuch House on Old London Bridge

So it turned into a feature on what the Fire – and subsequently, Man – destroyed.

And as one commenter pointed out below the line, we’ve lost much more than just the buildings themselves. We’ve lost a record of the contemporary psyche.

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