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.

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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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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

NEW BLUE PLAQUE TO HELENA NORMANTON

English Heritage has unveiled a new blue plaque to Helena Normanton, one of the first women in England to practise as a barrister, and a lifelong campaigner for women’s rights. She launched her legal career while living at 22 Mecklenburgh Square in Bloomsbury, where she is now commemorated with a blue plaque.

In 2021 English Heritage also unveiled new plaques to Ellen and William Craft, Lady Diana Spencer, Jean Muir, Ardaseer Cursetjee Wadia, John Osborne, Arthur Ransome, Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, Caroline Norton, JS Risien Russell, Kenneth Clark and Jim Henson.

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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