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On this day: the Barn Fire on Cuckolds Row

May 13, 2018

In Times Gone By...

Georgian era memorial to the Burnwell Cambridgeshire puttpet show barn fire. 8th Septemeber 1727.

The original gravestone, restored 105 years ago. X

On the 8th of September, 1727, a fire broke out at a puppet show in a barn in Burwell, England, killing 78 people, 51 of them children.

The fire happened when it was decided to stop more people entering the barn, and so the door was nailed shut. When an extra spectator attempted to watch the show from outside, the candle lantern he was using to see was knocked over, setting the place alight.

Nobody could escape.

On the 26th of February, 1774, it was reported in the Ipswich Journal that:

It is reported that an old man who died recently near Newmarket who just before his death confessed that he set fire to a barn at Burwell, Cambridgeshire on the 8th of September 1727

Barn Fire of 1727

The memorial plaque, unveiled on the 8th of September, 2005. X

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