Wren 300, a city full of people

In September 1666, the Great Fire of London destroyed large swathes of the City. Homes, businesses and eighty-seven parish churches were burnt to the ground. Transforming London’s ravaged streets into a thriving city full of people once again required a large labour force, huge amounts of money, and the skills of celebrated architect Sir Christopher Wren and his team.

Marking Wren’s 300 anniversary, volunteers have researched some of the craftspeople and residents who took part in or witnessed the rebuilding. Follow the stories and threads of these people’s lives who might otherwise be overlooked in the pages of history.

Find out more about this project



The decades following the Great Fire were a period of major transformation. As skilled craftsmen, such as stonemasons, carpenters, joiners and glaziers, were rebuilding the churches, so too were businesses, banks, theatres, coffee houses and merchant trading houses being established or expanded. But society was also changing.

Explore some of the key issues that face the City from Feeding and Greening the City to Social Unrest and Speculation.


Local churches were the focal point of sixteenth-century City life. Weekly worship and all the milestones of parishioners’ lives took place here: christenings, marriages and funerals. Many churches were lost in the Great Fire.

Read the stories of four that either survived or succumbed to the flames, and how they reemerged from the ruins.

Keep up to date with the latest news ...