London’s Blue Plaques

Hidden London: Episode 13

London’s famous plaques which are mostly blue, connect notable people of the past with the buildings or site they occupied or worked in. They are used to honour the notable men and women who have lived or worked in these buildings.

Placing blue plaques onto the walls of these buildings was started in 1866 by English Heritage and is said to be the oldest method used in the world. The first plaque to be placed on a building was in 1867 which commemorated the poet Lord Byron at his birthplace 24 Holles Street, Cavendish Square. However, the house was demolished in 1889. Therefore, technically, the earliest to surviving plaque is that of Napoleon III who was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I. He lived in King Street, Westminster.

Today, there are over 900 plaques on these buildings which vary in size or type. For more information on London’s Blue Plaques, click here.