Cybercrime, angels, toilets and “that dreadful fire”

A major exhibition about the Great Fire of London, a walking tour about angels in the Square Mile, and the opening of the City of London Police Museum are some of the highlights of Guildhall Library’s September to December programme.

‘That Dreadful Fire: The Hand of God, a Great Wind and a Very Dry Season’ commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London, which started in a bakery on Pudding Lane on 2 September 1666 and devastated most of the City. Guildhall Library’s exhibition, which runs until 30 November, investigates the Great Fire through its collections, which includes official accounts sermons and reports from across Europe.

Opening in October, the City of London Police Museum will chart the development of the Square Mile’s dedicated police force – from its creation in the Victorian era to modern policing and challenges, such as cybercrime and fraud. A new exhibition space in Guildhall will display an extensive range of items from the police’s archives to explain how the force ensures that the City is one of the safest places in the world for residents, workers, businesses and visitors.

Sara Pink, Head of the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Library, said:

“During autumn and winter at Guildhall Library, we are hosting a diverse range of events, including viewings of some of our treasures and a talk celebrating four centuries of shopping in the city to the opening of the City of London Police Museum and a series of events that recall the devastation caused by the Great Fire.

“Whether you want to know more about public toilets, breakthroughs in forensic science, Tower Bridge or Notting Hill, there’s something here for everyone over the coming months.”

Other event highlights include:

Potty politics (FREE)

Wednesday 7 September, 2 - 3pm

From the Romans to the present day, this talk explains the importance placed on public sanitation in London through the ages. Rachel Erickson, better known as The Loo Lady, has spent years researching the history and politics of public toilets.

That Dreadful Fire: Late View and Launch

Thursday 8 September, 6 - 8pm (£5, plus booking fee; includes wine and canapés)

Guildhall Library’s new exhibition on the Great Fire explores the story of this devastating event through the library’s collections. Enjoy a late view of the exhibition, at which Pete Smith will give a talk on the progress of the fire and its aftermath.

Theatres, Inns and Liberties Walk

Friday 9 September, 5.15pm – 7.45pm (£5, plus booking fee; includes refreshments)

The theatre of Shakespeare’s day is usually associated with the Bankside playhouses, such as the Globe and the Rose. Join Renaissance theatre specialist Dr Tracey Hill as she explores the lesser-known locations of the Blackfriars (where some of Shakespeare’s plays were performed), Whitefriars, and Salisbury Court playhouses, as well as the City inns that staged plays. The tour includes other places of interest such as the parish church of John Heminges and Henry Condell, who edited Shakespeare’s First Folio.

The Magic of Paper

Thursday 15 September, 6 – 8pm (£5, plus booking fee; includes wine reception)

An illustrated talk by Professor Iain Stevenson, which traces the history and importance of paper from its (supposed) invention in China two millennia ago to its present role from bank notes to toilet paper.

The Great Fire of London 1666 - 2016

Thursday 20 October, 6 – 8pm (£5, plus booking fee; includes wine reception)

Author Ian Doolittle, who has written several books on the history of the City of London, describes the surprising history of the Great Fire over 350 years. How did it become a red-hot party political issue? Why were the Roman Catholics still official scapegoats in 1830? What happened to the Fire in London's histories in the 19th century? And how have recent historians reconstructed what actually happened in 1666?

Fraud: From the Confidence Trickster to the Cyber Criminal

Tuesday 8 November, 6 – 8pm (£5, plus booking fee; includes wine reception)

Chris Greany, City of London Police Commander, gives a talk about the many faces of fraud, including the growing threat of cybercrime, and explains the ways in which the City of London Police investigates such crimes and the challenges faced in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

All events at Guildhall Library require booking through and for further details, please email, call 020 7332 1869/1871 or visit

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Library, invests £80m every year in heritage and cultural activities of all kinds. It is the UK’s largest funder of culture after the government, the BBC, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.



Andrew Buckingham, Media Officer, City of London Corporation

Tel: 020 7332 1452 / Mobile: 07795 333 060



The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It supports and promotes the City as the world leader in international finance and business services and provides local services and policing for those working in, living in and visiting the Square Mile. It also provides valued services to London and the nation. These include the Barbican Centre and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama; the Guildhall Library and Art Gallery and London Metropolitan Archives; a range of education provision (including three City Academies); five Thames bridges (including Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge); the Central Criminal Court at Old Bailey; over 10,000 acres of open spaces (including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest), and three wholesale food markets. It is also London’s Port Health Authority and runs the Animal Reception Centre at Heathrow. It works in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on the regeneration of surrounding areas and the City Bridge Trust, which it oversees, donates more than £15m to charity annually.


Guildhall Library (Aldermanbury, EC2) is a library of London history, the largest library collection in the world devoted to the history of a single city. The Library values London’s history and traditions, offering a modern library space, open to all with access to e-resources and e-books, alongside access to its extensive printed books collection. The library’s collections (including rare books and manuscripts) are available to everyone - and members of the public do not need to join the library or make an appointment to consult its collections. For more details, please visit