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Great Fire of Biggleswade 1785

Places > Biggleswade > Fires

The fire started at the ‘The Crown’ inn on June 16th 1785. It was apparently due to the carelessness of a servant who dumped ashes from the kitchen fire in the yard near some dry straw.

The fire took hold rapidly and the nearby buildings were soon ablaze. The fire spread very quickly to St. Andrew’s Street, Holme Lane and Langford Lane (Hitchin Street). Despite the best efforts of the townsmen and women the fire then moved on to Back Lane (Church Street), Biggleswade Backside, the Market Square, the top of Hitchin Street, Bonds Lane and Foundry Lane.

It took some four hours for the fire to be brought under control but the damage was immense — nearly one third of the town had been destroyed. The loss was estimated at 22,500. A national appeal was launched to alleviate the many people who had lost their homes and their livelihoods.


Page last updated: 23rd January 2014