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Author Topic: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820  (Read 7537 times)

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Offline smiffy

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Re: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2013, 12:17:48 »
There is an account of both fires here:

I'm not sure about the accuracy of some of the 1820 information, as Manor Road didn't exist at this time and Chatham House survived until the 1900's.


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Re: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2013, 10:45:46 »
There's a booklet about the fires called "The fires of Chatham 1800 and 1820 by Derek Barnard." I bought mine from Baggins Book Bazaar, Rochester. It also talks about the committees and reports set up after the fires, and how funds were distributed to sufferers.

Offline mikeb

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Re: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2013, 10:02:38 »
In respect of the 1800 fire :-

1800 30th June. "A great fire destroyed a large portion of Chatham High Street, consisting of ninety five dwellings and warehouses, chiefly constructed of wood. The Brewery and house known as Chatham House were among the properties destroyed. The area of conflagration extended from the brewery westward to Hamond Hill, the present site of Hamond Place, then known as Long Port. The fire started in a shed or building situated on the river bank in which was stored a large quantity of cordage, oakum, etc"

It seems that the fires of 1800 and 1820 had much in common!

From The Story of Chatham, James Presnail

Offline Lyn L

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Re: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 11:44:40 »
I had to be nosey and find out what area of the High St was the affected area of the fire. My son informs me , that the Best dwelling and brewery, and where most of the houses were destroyed , was between Heavyside Lane ( Now Hammond Hill ) and Manor Road, the Best family are ancestors of my hubby , and I always wondered where the brewery and home were. Makes the family more real if you know where they lived.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life tryi


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Re: The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2010, 10:38:24 »
Fire engines from Rochester and Maidstone were sent for and the Sun Fire engine drawn by 6 horses reached Chatham by 6 in the afternoon. Firemen and engines were sent from London, but by the time they arrived they were no long needed. A heavy sleet had began to fall and the extreme cold almost paralysed the efforts to contain the fire. Great inconvenience was also experienced from the want of a plentiful supply of water and in some cases it was conveyed by casks. Flakes of burning matter were conveyed in the air, one of them landing in a large stack of hay about 150 yards from the High Street, setting fire to it and two others. The fire continued to burn and destroy property, and it wasn't untill 11 O'clock it had finally been brought under control and the flames had subdued. 38 buildings were destroyed altogether, but thankfully there was no loss of life. One or two people were injured from a falling wall, but not seriously.

This was the third time Chatham had had a severe fire at the time. In about 1800 a fire had broke out in roughly the same place and had consumed 70 houses, and about 21 years before that 80 or 90 houses had been destroyed by another fire.


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The Great Fire of Chatham - 1820
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2010, 22:42:07 »
3rd March, 1820

A Sentry at Fort Amherst spotted the fire and reported it to the Captain of the Guard, who sent out troops to rouse the Towns people and help fight the fire, saving many lives.

The fire started at about haf-past 2 in the morning, at Mr Hill's house, who was a Baker at 69 High Street. There was a strong North-Westerly wind at the time and this helped spread the fire to adjoining properties, and due to the narrowness of the street, crossed to properties on the opposite side. The fire also reached the Sun Tavern, which was the principal Inn of Chatham, and at about half past four or five, the roof of the Sun Tavern fell in with a tremendous crash. At one time the Brewery of Mr Best was considered to be next, but due to the prompt assistance of great numbers of Town's people and military, it escaped with comparatively little damage. However, Mr Best's dwelling house, and numerous others weren't so lucky and were completely destroyed.

Info from The Times and "The Medway Forts" by K.R. Gulvin.


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