The 1520 map shows the city just beginning to break out from the confines of the Roman Wall that had more or less defined its limits for 1300 years. Ribbon development was stretching out along Fletestrete and Holbourne across open countryside towards the quite separate city of Westminster.
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Growth continued apace but on 2 September 1666 disaster struck and most of the area within the walls and more outside was swept away in the Great Fire. The second map in this collection, commissioned by the Lord Mayor to assess the damage and to plan the redevelopment, shows the principal buildings that were destroyed many of which, including St Paul's Cathedral, were soon to be rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren.