London was ablaze, with wooden houses and shops ablaze in the busy narrow streets and alleys, fanned by a strong wind that sent sparks flying until the whole city was on fire. This was the Great Fire of London – not the well-known inferno of 1666, but a much earlier disaster, in July 1212.
It has been 810 years since a fire broke out in Southwark, on the south side of the Thames. No one knows how the fire started, but St Mary Overie’s Church was destroyed on the site of what is now Southwark Cathedral. Much of Borough High Street was destroyed. People in Southwark ran for their lives across London Bridge into the city, but the fierce south wind picked up