Government buildings, law courts, prisons, three City gates, markets and many churches needed to be rebuilt.
People donated money but the rebuilding of most public buildings was paid for by a tax on coal coming into London.
87 churches had been destroyed in the fire. The 1667 Rebuilding Act stated that only 39 churches would be rebuilt. After three years of arguing, this was raised to 51. Most were designed by architect Christopher Wren and City of London surveyor Robert Hooke. The building work took many years; one of the last churches to be completed was St Michael Cornhill in 1722.
Sir Christopher Wren’s most famous building is St Paul’s Cathedral. Construction started in 1675 and Parliament declared it finished in 1711, 45 years after the old cathedral had been destroyed.
The Royal Exchange, a luxury shopping centre and merchants’ meeting place, was rebuilt very quickly after the fire. It was designed by Edward Jerman, and opened in 1669. The current Royal Exchange is the third on the site – the second one burnt down in 1838. It was rebuilt again and opened by Queen Victoria in 1844.
A new roof was put on the Guildhall and extensive repairs were done, which took around 10 years.
The public building programme was financed by a tax on coal. The tax was set at one shilling per ton until June 1677, though in 1670 it was increased to three shillings and the term extended to 1687. After 1687 it was reduced again, and continued for another 200 years.