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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
16th January 1906 Born today: Diana Winyard, London, actress (Cavalcade)
16th January 1794 Edward Gibbon, historian (Decline and Fall), dies in London at 56
16th January 1759 British Museum opens in London
The Chinese Bridge and Pagoda
Here was the site of the St James Park firework disaster.
Location: St James Park
Description: During the extensive 1814 festivities commissioned by The Prince Regent (later George IV), to celebrate the end of the war with France, a splendid 7-storey pagoda was erected in St James' Park.
It was perched atop a brightly painted Chinese-style bridge spanning the canal, featuring four bridge pavilions. The bridge and pagoda were bright yellow and topped with a bright blue roof.
On August the 1st, the celebration of the Hanoverian Centenary and the anniversary of the Battle of the Nile commenced. Lord Nelson's brilliant tactics were represented by a replica of the battle using rowboats upon the canal.
Although the bridge remained until 1825, the pagoda caught fire during the celebratory fireworks. The gas lit pagoda caught fire and burned down, with two men killed by the fire and smoke and a number injured trying to put out the fire.