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 is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world, and celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

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.

Celebrating 150 Years of Blue Plaques

2016 marks 150 years of the English Heritage London blue plaque scheme. We spoke to famous Londoners about their favourite blue plaques around the city. 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 defintive 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
Ava Gardner pictured in her home sitting on an armchair, wearing grey jogging bottoms and matching grey hooded top and smoking a cigarette

New Blue Plaques

The blue plaque to Ava Gardner was unveiled at her former home at 34 Ennismore Gardens in Knightsbridge on 4th November 2016. The Hollywood star – who was often the centre of attention in tabloid gossip columns – enjoyed a quieter life in London. She regularly walked her dogs around the local park and ate meals in front of the fire in her lavishly-decorated flat, in which she is pictured here.

The other individuals honoured with an English Heritage blue plaque so far this year are: Henry Watson Fowler, Sir Joseph Lyons, Thomas Barnardo, Laurie Cunningham, Freddie Mercury, Bobby Moore, Sir George Grove, Sir Frederick Ashton, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Elizabeth David, Tommy Cooper, Samuel Beckett, Patrick Blackett, Benjamin Baker.

Americans in London

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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