The fire had shown how vulnerable the city’s wooden buildings and narrow streets were to fire.
On 8 February 1667, a Rebuilding Act was passed. It gave instructions for how London was to be rebuilt and the four types of houses that were permitted.
It detailed works such as street widening, improvements to the Thames and Fleet River wharves, and the building of a pillar to commemorate the fire. It also allowed builders from outside the City to work there.
The outside walls of houses were to be built from brick or stone and the upper storeys were no longer permitted to lean into the streets. The ground level between Thames Street and the river was raised to make the slope less steep, easing access to the Thames.
A coal tax was created in order to pay for the public building programme, with twelve pence per ton to be paid to the Mayor. The City of London authorities were also directed to set out the lines of the streets with stakes. The penalty for moving the stakes was a £10 fine, three months in prison or, if the offender was of a ‘low and mean condition’, to be whipped until ‘till his body be bloody’.
Further regulations were issued by the City of London in May as an addition to the Rebuilding Act. These put further rules in place, for example that houses next to one another should be the same height. Signs were not to hang over into the street but had to be fixed to the wall. No building was allowed until the builder registered their name at the Guildhall and paid a six shillings and eight pence fee. Their plot then had to be surveyed by the City surveyors, who set out the foundations and lines of the walls.