Royal Mail Stamps Guide: The Great Fire of London, 2 September 2016

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02 September 2016
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GFOL-Monday-3rd-65789.jpg Houses are pulled down
Royal Mail have taken a bold approach to a landmark anniversary with graphic novel style stamps depicting key moments in the 1666 Great Fire of London.

Royal Mail have taken a bold approach to a landmark anniversary with graphic novel style stamps depicting key moments in the 1666 Great Fire of London.

It’s a date with as much resonance as the 1066 Battle of Hastings; the Great Fire of London which took place 350 years ago this month, on 2 September, 1666. A small fire in a baker’s shop spread into a terrifying conflagration which destroyed four fifths of the old city of London within just four days.

What started as a minor blaze on small business premises grew to consume a large part of what was one of Europe’s largest and finest cities, with over 13,000 houses and shops destroyed, as well as 87 churches and medieval St Paul’s Cathedral. 

Through these six stamps, Royal Mail commemorates the 400th anniversary of the fire, using a graphic novel style to tell the story of the blaze using a combination of words and pictures. Each stamp is split into two sections, with one half summarizing one stage of the fire, and the other half showing its effect on the people and buildings of London.

Today, those killed in the fire are remembered by the Great Fire of London Memorial near Pudding Lane, designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. This, and the new St Paul’s Cathedral, changed London’s skyline for ever, and ensured that this tragedy will never be forgotten.

Stamp details

Issue date: 2 September, 2016

Design: The Chase

Stamp format: Square

Stamp size: 35mm x 35mm

Printer: International Security Printers

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Print process: Lithography

Perforations: 14.5 x 14.5

Phosphor: Bars as appropriate

Gum: PVA

 

1st – Fire breaks out in a bakery on Pudding Lane

1st – The fire spreads rapidly

£1.05 – Houses in the path of the fire are pulled down

£1.05 – The fire reaches St Paul’s Cathedral

£1.52 – The fire dies out

£1.52 – Christopher Wren presents plans for a rebuilt city to the king