Blue Plaque Stories
Black and white photograph of woman being restrained in London street

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. 

Still from the film Oliver Twist, of Oliver walking through hall to ask for some more

London Poverty

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
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 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
Black and white photograph of Oscar Wilde and ‘Bosie’ Douglas

London Pride: LGBTQ stories

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

Explore London’s LGBTQ history
Black and white photograph of crowd of women holding banners and flags, with two women in centre smiling at camera

Pioneering Women

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.                                                                                                                                                         

Discover London’s pioneering women

More blue plaques stories

  • A literary walk in Kensington

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

  • Staging Shakespeare

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

  • European Composers in London

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

  • 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