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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NEW BLUE PLAQUE TO DAME HELEN GWYNNE-VAUGHAN

English Heritage has unveiled its first new blue plaque of 2020. Dame Helen Gwynne-Vaughan is commemorated at Flat 93, Bedford Court Manions, in Bloomsbury, where she lived for almost 50 years.

Gwynne-Vaughan was a botanist and a leader of the first women's army corps. In her academic career she was appointed Head of the Botany Department at Birkbeck College in 1909 and became the college’s first female professor in 1921. During the First World War she joined the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps and was given the role of Chief Controller of a small contingent that was posted in France. As a result of her success in the role, Gwynne-Vaughan became the first woman to wear the insignia of a Military Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1918, and was made a Dame Commander of the Order the following year. 

In 2019 we unveiled blue plaques to: Bob MarleyJohn Linnell and Camille SilvySir Arthur PearsonSir Edward FranklandDerek Jarman, William Bowman, Angela Carter, Martha GellhornSir Patrick AbercrombieGertrude Bell and Ronnie Scott.  

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

Artists of London

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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