Blue Plaques

Composite showing a selection of blue plaques

London’s Blue Plaques

London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

Across the capital over 900 plaques, on buildings humble and grand, honour the notable men and women who have lived or worked in them. Discover some of the people commemorated with blue plaques, or search for a plaque, below.

Photograph of two ballet dancers posing on steps leading up to front door of 27 Victoria Road


Rudolf Nureyev was one of the world’s greatest ballet dancers. He was awarded a blue plaque on 21 September 2017 at 27 Victoria Road in Kensington, where he regularly stayed with friends. He formed a famous partnership with Dame Margot Fonteyn in London in the 1960s, and one of their most significant performances – in Marguerite and Armand (1963) – was choreographed by Sir Frederick Ashton.

English Heritage has awarded eight other new blue plaques so far in 2017. They are to Spencer Gore, Sir Robert Watson-Watt, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Wing Commander JRD ‘Bob’ BrahamSir Henry Cotton, Charlie Chaplin, Sir John Gielgud and Mary Macarthur.

Celebrating London’s Blue Plaques

Famous Londoners show us their favourite blue plaques around the city in celebration of the original scheme, now over 150 years old. Sir Ian Mckellen tells us the story of the Flying Bomb plaque at Mile End, Sir Robert Winston talks about the Moses Montefiore plaque in Hyde Park and Shami Chakrabarti explains why she’s chosen Mary Seacole’s plaque in Soho Square.

Image of the front cover for ’London’s Blue Plaques’ with illustrated depictions of Winston Churchill, Gandhi, Sylvia Pankhurst, Amy Johnson and John Lennon.

The Blue Plaques Book

The lives of London’s most significant residents are placed at your fingertips in this new book. With all 900-plus official plaques mapped onto the city, The English Heritage Guide to London’s Blue Plaques is the definitive companion to London’s iconic memorials and the people who have helped shape the history of this city. Use it to explore the capital at street level, or read it in the comfort of your own home and discover little-known stories from London’s past.

Order your copy now

London’s Activists

To celebrate the new blue plaque to trade unionist Mary Macarthur, we look at some of the other Londoners who have campaigned for change. From anti-apartheid campaigners to suffragettes, click on the images below to explore London’s history of activism.

Blue Plaque Stories

Emmeline Pankhurst is arrested outside Buckingham Palace, 1914

Behind every plaque is a story. From the creative output of international composers to the campaigns for women’s rights, discover the personal journeys and historic achievements of London’s notable former residents with our series of in depth articles.

Discover the stories behind the plaques
Blue plaques app walking tour

Blue Plaques App

The official blue plaques app is now available to download for free for iPhone and Android. Use the app to follow guided walks around Soho and Kensington, or explore all of the 900 plaques by finding ones nearby and searching for your favourite figures from history.

From Sylvia Pankhurst’s former home in Chelsea to Jimi Hendrix’s flat in Mayfair, let English Heritage’s blue plaques guide you through the streets of London.

Download the free app now from the Apple App Store for iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android.

Find a Plaque

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