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Blue Plaques

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Blue Plaques

Is this an icon?


Blue Plaques

The blue plaque scheme was the brainchild of a Victorian MP, William Ewart, who in 1863 proposed that ‘memorial tablets’ be put up at London houses where the famous had been born, died or merely lived for a while. Initially run by the Society (later the Royal Society) of Arts, the first such plaque noted the poet Byron’s London home. Responsibility for the scheme was handed to the London County Council in 1901. Then the Greater London Council took it over, and since 1986 it has been run by English Heritage.

The oldest plaque still in existence marks the one-time address of France’s Napoleon III (put up in 1867), while the most-visited are Dickens’s home in Doughty Street near Russell Square, Karl Marx’s address in Dean Street, and the house in Frith Street in which John Logie Baird first demonstrated television (both Soho). The blue plaque scheme is now extended to the rest of the country. If you’d like to leave one behind at your current address, better think of something memorable to do.

Photo: Maria Gibbs


Your comments

The Blue Plaques Scheme recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the scientific, commercial or cultural life of England. Blue Plaques are erected on buildings where great figures of the past have lived or worked.

Jim Conner

Because it is always a pleasure to spot one on a wall and discover where the famous, gifted and celebrated of the past lived.
Alan Gatter



I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye