1. Read these questions then listen and answer them.

a   What was the year?

 Which city was burning?

c   Who was Christopher Wren?

 How did the fire start?

 What happened at the end of this episode?

Answer & Audioscript

a   1666

b   London

 He was the famous architect who would rebuild most of the churches in London.

d   The King’s baker started it by accident.

e   James’ head was placed on the block, then he heard a thud as the axe hit the block.


      The Vikings had tied a weight around the professor’s legs, and he sank quickly into the water. He didn’t feel the cold; he didn’t feel anything. The water was black, and he could feel himself being pulled down. Then the weight broke off, and the ropes around his arms and legs came free.

      The year was 1666. A horrible plague had killed 75,000 people in London, and now their city was burning. Everyone thought that they were cursed.

      Once he was out of the river, James saw some people passing buckets of water from one person to the next trying to put out the fire. He decided to help them. He also told them that the city would be rebuilt in a bigger and better way.

      “How do you know all this?” one man asked suspiciously.

      “Perhaps he’s a Dutch spy,” another said.

      “Maybe he’s the one who started the fire,” the first man added.

      England was at was with the Dutch, and many people thought that they had set London on fire. The people dropped their buckets and began chasing the professor.

      He ran through the streets of London with the angry crowd chasing after him and buildings burning all around. He ran into a dead-end street. There was a wall in front of him. All he could do was wait for the crowd to close in on him.

      They dragged James to the palace. The professor also saw Christopher Wren, the famous architect who would rebuild most of the churches in London, and he was amazed at the historical significance of the moment. It almost made him forget the trouble he was in.

      The charges against James were read out to the King, accusing him of being a spy and the possible cause of the fire.

      “Even if I told you the truth,” he said, “you wouldn’t believe me.”

      The King told him he would be sent to the Tower if he did not answer the charges. James didn’t think they would believe him, but he told them it was the King’s baker who had started the fire by accident and that it had spread because of the wind and because all the buildings were made of wood. Everyone listened with interest. The King asked him how he knew this.

      “I’m from the 21st century. I’ve been sent here by mistake,” he said.

      Everyone began to laugh. The King was furious. He thought the professor was treating him like a fool.

      When they placed his head on the block, James hoped that he would be saved again from death, but he didn’t feel sure. His heart beat wildly and his mind raced.

      “I just want to get back to the 21st century,” he said.

      Then he heard a thud as the axe hit the block.

2. Look at the table, then listen and fill in the missing words.

The night before the exam

– revise the most important (1)……………

– don’t spend the whole night (2)……………

– listen to some (3)…………… to help you relax

– get a good night’s (4)……………

– don’t go to bed (5)……………

– don’t forget to set your alarm (6)……………


built during the (5)……….. century by William the Conqueror

was the Royal Residence until the (6)……….. century

has 19 towers

see the Crown Jewels in the (7)………..  ………..


installed in (8)………..

the largest clock in Britain

the bell weighs (9)……….. tons

the name “Big Ben” refers to the (10)……….., not the clock itself.


built in (11)……….. by the Duke of Buckingham

Victoria was the first (12)……….. to live there

Royal Standard is flying when the Queen is in residence

every morning a changing of the guard ceremony (13)………..  ………..

Answer & Audioscript

1 1886   2 engines   3 ships   4 towers

5 11th   6 17th    7 Jewel House

8 1859   9 14   10 bell

11 1703   12 queen   13 takes place


Guide:   … We’re now approaching Tower Bridge, the international symbol of London. It was built between 1886 and 1894 by Sir Horace Jones. Originally steam engines were used to raise the bridge, so that ships could pass underneath. Nowadays, electric motors are used instead. Just look at its impressive twin Gothic towers. As we cross the bridge, you’ll enjoy a wonderful view of the River Thames and London.

Tourists:   Wow, it’s beautiful! (sound of cameras clicking, etc.)

Guide:   On your left, you can see the Tower of London. It was built during the 11th century by William the Conqueror. It was the Royal Residence until the 17th century. The Tower of London has 19 towers. There you can see the famous Crown Jewels in the Jewel House. (pause) Now … if you look ahead we’re coming to the Houses of Parliament and the famous Big Ben. The bell was installed in 1859 and the clock is the largest in Britain. The bell weighs an unbelievable 14 tons! In fact, the name “Big Ben” refers to the bell, and not to the clock itself. It chimes on the hour, we’ll hear it in a few seconds as it’s almost eight o’clock. (sound of chimes)

Guide:   Last on today’s tour is the majestic Buckingham palace. It was built in 1703 by the Duke of Buckingham. Victoria was the first queen to live there. As you can see, the Royal Standard is flying above the palace; this means that the Queen is in residence. Every morning a changing of the guard ceremony takes place. You’ll get to see that later. OK – we’ll be stopping here for ten minutes to give you all the chance to take some photos. (sound of bus stopping, doors opening, etc.)

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