Most people associate Guy Fawkes Night with bonfires and fireworks, fairground rides and toffee apples, and almost everyone knows the story behind the celebration.

In 1605, a group of 13 planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. Gunpowder was transported into the basement of the Houses of Parliament via the Thames and Guy Fawkes was chosen to light the fuse.

But how many people know some of the less well-known truths about Guy Fawkes night?

  • Guy Fawkes was not the leader
    • The leader of the group was Robert Catesby
    • Guy Fawkes is the most famous name as he was the one found in the basement
  • Guy Fawkes was sent to the Tower of London
    • During his time there he was tortured for 2 days until he gave up the name of his co-plotters
    • After his torture, Fawkes was barely able to sign his own name
  • The conspirators were betrayed
    • One of the Lords received an anonymous letter warning him not to go into the House that day
    • This prompted the search that found Guy Fawkes
  • The basement is still searched
    • Every year at the opening of the Houses of Parliament the Yeomen of the Guard search the basement
  • Toffee apples were created for Christmas
    • Apples were dipped in a bright red, cinnamon sugar syrup for a Christmas window display in America
    • They flew off the shelves and many countries then adapted the recipe
    • The toffee apple most likely gained popularity around the time of Guy Fawkes celebrations due to the apple harvest.


Bonfire night has become such a big celebration at this time of year, many people celebrate the weekend before or after and celebrations have changed so much over the years from simply creating bonfires to huge family events with fairground rides and fireworks. But however you celebrate, always:

“Remember, remember the fifth of November, gunpowder treason and plot. We see no reason, why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot!”