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Blue Plaques

Bedford Square Blue Paque situated on a wall

London's blue plaques scheme, founded in 1866, is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world and has inspired many other schemes across London, the UK and even further afield. 

Run successively by the (Royal) Society of Arts, the London County Council, the Greater London Council, and since 1986, English Heritage, it commemorates the link between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked. It is a uniquely successful means of connecting people and place. 


The London-wide blue plaques scheme has been running for over 140 years, and now comprises around 850 plaques.

History of the blue plaques scheme

Plaque Design

The modern form of the blue plaque - a design icon - dates from the time of the Second World War. Before that, plaques installed under the scheme took a number of different forms.

More on plaque design

Advice and Guidance

An important part of our work isto provide advice and guidance to anyone interested in putting up a plaque or setting up a scheme.

See our advice and guidance


The blue plaques scheme forms part of our wider programme of research and investigation into the historic built environment.

Research into buildings 

'Lived in London'

The book 'Lived in London: Blue Plaques and the Stories Behind Them' (2009), published by Yale University Press and English Heritage, is available from the online shop.

Visit Online Shop