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 950 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 and members of the public.

Find a Plaque

The front entrance to the Ayahs’ Home, 26 King Edward’s Road, Hackney, in 1900
The front entrance to the Ayahs’ Home, 26 King Edward’s Road, Hackney, in 1900

New plaques in 2022

In June 2022 English Heritage unveiled a new blue plaque marking the Ayahs’ Home in Hackney. In the early 20th century, 26 King Edward’s Road sheltered hundreds of stranded South and East Asian nannies, nursemaids and ladies’ maids who had accompanied their British employers on the long sea voyage from India only to be abandoned by those they had served. For most of its existence, the home appears to have been the only one of its kind in Britain. 

So far in 2022 English Heritage has also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the Match Girls’ Strike, which took place at the Bryant and May works in Bow in 1888; and plaques to the astronomers Walter and Annie Maunder, the artist and designer Enid Marx, physicist and telecommunications theorist Oliver Heaviside, the philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, Dr John Conolly and the former Hanwell Asylum, and landscape gardener Fanny Wilkinson.

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

Living with Disability

London’s blue plaques scheme commemorates people from all walks of life, some of whom – as would be expected – lived with a disability. For some figures, their disability was a difficulty to be navigated, often in a hostile environment. For others, the disability changed the course of their lives, and was in some cases central to the achievement for which they are celebrated.

We explore stories of people with both visible and hidden impairments, and consider the impact disability had on their lives.

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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

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.

Read the article

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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