Emmeline Pankhurst arrested outside Buckingham Palace in 1914

Discover the stories behind the plaques

On this page you will discover the extraordinary stories behind London’s blue plaques. From the collective struggle of those who fought for the civil rights of British women to the personal experiences of London’s LGBTQ individuals, every plaque represents an important and fascinating slice of history. Scroll down to read more about the individual lives and groundbreaking achievements of London’s former residents. 

London Poverty

Black and white image taken from 1960s film of Oliver Twist, showing Oliver walking down a large dining hall with bowl in hands and children seated on either side looking at him

Charles Dickens and Charlie Chaplin both experienced poverty as children, and both created characters in their work who fall on hard times. Discover how Chaplin’s Tramp and Dickens’s Oliver Twist were inspired by real life events on the streets of London and learn about the sights and sounds which may have influenced them.

Read about Dickens, Chaplin and London Poverty

Celebrating London’s Black History

Cunningham scores a goal for West Brom against Arsenal

From sportsmen to statesmen, discover some of the pioneering black figures whose achievements are celebrated with London’s blue plaques.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LONDON’S BLACK HISTORY

London Pride: LGBTQ stories

Oscar Wilde and his lover Lord Alfred Douglas

From Oscar Wilde to Virginia Woolf, explore London’s LGBTQ history through the stories associated with the city’s blue plaques. 

Explore London’s LGBT+ history

Pioneering Women

Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst

We take a look at some of the figures in London’s history who took the historic first steps to open up new opportunities for women, and are commemorated by blue plaques.

How did London’s women campaign for female emancipation?

More Blue Plaques Stories

  • James Joyce walks with his wife and a male companion after getting married in Kensington

    A Literary Walk in Kensington

    Use our blue plaques app to discover the former homes of Kensington’s literary luminaries on this short walk.

  • David Garrick performing the role of Hamlet

    Staging Shakespeare

    Travel with us through four centuries of Shakespearean performance, with London’s blue plaques as our guide.

  • Mendelssohn playing the piano for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

    European Composers in London

    Learn more about the European composers who came to London to perform, compose, and escape wars abroad.

  • Harold Abrahams diving forwards over the finishing line of a track running race

    London’s Olympic Heroes

    Following the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio, discover which past Olympians have been awarded a London blue plaque.

London’s Comedians

'step into englands story