Museum of London introduces new Great Fire of London website to mark 350th anniversary

2 September 2016

The Museum of London, in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives, Guildhall Art Gallery and the Monument, is launching a brand new website designed to be the go-to site for anyone wanting to find out about the Great Fire of London. It is also expected to become the online learning resource for the thousands of schoolchildren nationwide who study the topic at key stage 1, consolidating the success of the museum’s existing similar site.

Launching on 2 September 2016, www.fireoflondon.org.uk draws on the remarkable collections of the eleven cultural partners and combines historical content, interactive maps, child-friendly games, striking storybook illustrations and timeline-based navigation to explain how the fire started, how it was finally put out, who was blamed and how it affected London and the wider world.

Building on the huge popularity of the existing www.fireoflondon.org.uk website, the new site retains the popular interactive story approach for children but offers additional rich historical content including detailed images of objects that reveal what life was like for Londoners at the time. Working across all devices, including interactive whiteboards, it provides a variety of ways to discover the rich history of the Great Fire.

The main site is divided into easy to follow chronological sections which encompass every day of the fire up to the rebuilding of London. Key facts are provided in colourful, animated boxes, giving links to more in depth information. Stories are told through interactive maps of London in 1666 and the present day.

The existing website’s popular game featuring Tom (a fictional character) and Jane (Samuel Pepys’ maid) has been completely redesigned with brand new challenges, and can be used alongside the main site for an even more compelling learning experience. For further learning through play, a new component of the website is the Museum of London’s Great Fire 1666 Minecraft experience which first launched in July 2016. Drawing on the museum’s rich 17th century collections and historical expertise, Great Fire 1666 harnesses the power of the popular video game Minecraft to engage people with the story of the fire like never before, as players can walk down the streets of London, interact with Londoners from 1666, combat the flames and rebuild their own vision of the capital.

In addition to the chronological story and interactive games, the website is also home to an online collection of some 100 of the most important Great Fire artefacts, documents and artworks held by the museum and its partner institutions, allowing users to gain an even deeper understanding of this momentous event.

The new www.fireoflondon.org.uk website forms part of the Museum of London’s commemorative activities to mark the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. This includes Fire! Fire!, an interactive exhibition on until 17 April 2017, which explores what happened in London just before, during and after the fire. Further information: www.museumoflondon.org.uk/fire-fire.

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About the Museum of London

The Museum of London tells the ever-changing story of this great world city and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Our galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.

The museum is open daily 10am – 6pm and is FREE to all, and you can explore the Museum of London with collections online – home to 90,000 objects with more being added. www.museumoflondon.org.uk.

About the partners

The Museum of London has worked with three cultural partners and six contributor organisations to create this site. These are: London Metropolitan Archives, the Monument, Guildhall Art Gallery, MOLA, St Paul’s Cathedral, The National Archives, the National Portrait Gallery, the Pepys Library, Claydon House Trust and the London Fire Brigade Museum.

About the digital partners

The website uses scaled historic maps, which were created by the team at MOLA. The Museum of London worked with digital production studio fish in a bottle to redevelop the existing, extremely successful game for key stage 1 students, and with strategic design agency Fabrique (known for their record-breaking Rijksmuseum website redesign) for the site design and creation.

About the funders

The museum is grateful to the City of London and Arts Council England for supporting the Fire of London website.