Wren300: ‘A City Full of People’

1 Dec 2022 - 30 Apr 2023


Volunteer researchers are sought to carry out historical research for an exciting new project as part of the celebrations to mark the tercentenary of Sir Christopher Wren’s death in 2023. Wren300: ‘A City Full of People’ will investigate the lives of people who lived and worked in the City of London while it was being rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666.

The team of Wren300 researchers, trained and supported by a social historian, will undertake archival research into a selection of parishes within the Square Mile during the period c.1666 to 1726. The researchers will make use of local archives and online resources to identify some of the people involved in the rebuilding of Wren’s City churches and to gather information about the trades and occupations employed in the work. They will investigate the lives of those who were baptised, married and buried within these churches during this disrupted period in the City’s history. There will also be an opportunity to examine questions of contested heritage and the City’s involvement in the expansion of Britain’s colonial interests.

A full training programme in using and understanding a range of archival sources will be provided, including visits to Wren churches and local and specialist archives. The project will result in the researchers retelling the stories of the people they have investigated in a way that is accessible for modern audiences, either as written narratives or recorded interviews. Their findings will be shared in an exhibition which the researchers will help to curate.

The research phase will run from December 2022 to April 2023. The exhibition will be held at the four of the City churches in June 2023 and shared online as a lasting legacy of the project. This project forms part of the Wren300 Square Mile Churches programme which is being undertaken by the London Diocesan Fund and partly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.