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.

The English Heritage London blue plaques scheme is generously supported by David Pearl, Knight Frank and members of the public.

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Black and white photograph of football match with goalkeeper in mid air as ball flies past him into net

Celebrating London’s Black History

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

Find out more about London’s Black History

Keeping in touch

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted our need to keep in touch, both with one another and with what’s happening in the outside world. The people below have all advanced communication in some way – from computing pioneer Ada Lovelace and founder of The Times, John Walter, to war correspondent Martha Gellhorn and TV and radio broadcaster Richard Dimbleby.

Black and white photograph of Gerald Durrell petting a tapir

NEW BLUE PLAQUE TO GERALD DURRELL

English Heritage has unveiled a new blue plaque to the naturalist, zoologist and writer Gerald Durrell. He is commemorated at 43 Alleyn Park in Dulwich, where he spent part of his childhood in the late 1920s.

Durrell had an immense influence on public attitudes to animals in captivity and to the importance of zoos in the conservation of animals in the wild. He is best known for his book My Family and Other Animals (1956), which vividly describes his family’s life on Corfu when he was a boy.

English Heritage has unveiled four other plaques so far in 2020, to Helen Gwynne-VaughanNoor Inayat Khan, Sir Robert Hunter and Christine Granville.

Plaques for women

Today only 14 per cent of London’s blue plaques celebrate women. We don't think that’s good enough. Since 2016 when we first launched our ‘plaques for women’ campaign, more than half of the people awarded plaques have been women, but only a third of the public nominations were for women. Nominations are the life blood of the London blue plaques scheme and if we are to see a significant increase in the number of blue plaques for women, we will need more female suggestions.  

If you know of a woman who deserves a blue plaque and meets the selection criteria, nominate her now and help us address the gender imbalance in London's blue plaques.

Propose a woman for a blue plaque

Blue Plaque Stories

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
Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan in his office studying public information posters prior to the launch of the NHS in 1948

History’s Heroes of Health

Advances in the control, treatment and cure of illness and disease have depended on the work of many talented individuals, working in a variety of different fields.

The London blue plaques scheme celebrates many figures of outstanding achievement in this crucially important area. We explore some of their most significant medical breakthroughs and public health reforms.

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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.

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