The Great Fire of London
One Sunday morning 2nd September 1666, as the residents of Hatton Garden strolled to St Andrews church in the sunshine, the normal tranquility was shattered by the sound of bells within the walls of the City. Fire, a common occurrence, did not usually attract much interest but this one had broken out near London Bridge and was still burning. By Monday morning, local authorities were organizing fire fighting teams and rescue and Middlesex magistrates based themselves in Ely Place, assuming that the fire would not reach Holborn. By Monday evening, the fire had reached Baynard’s Castle and by Tuesday morning Fleet Street and Temple.
Now it threatened Hatton Garden and some of the most expensive houses in town. Houses in Fleet Street and around the Abbey in Westminster were being blown up to protect the more valuable properties and the old timbered buildings in Holborn now represented a threat to the estate. Hatton Garden was saved by sparks which set fire to a group of old houses in Fetter Lane which created a fire break.
Hatton Garden with its brand new houses was filthy but undamaged