London's best blue plaques

London's best blue plaques

Ever spotted a blue plaque and wondered what they’re about? Paying homage to London’s notable residents of history, plan a day out along the blue plaque path.

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 plaque scheme started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

Matthew Arnold | Chester Square, Belgravia

Matthew Arnold was a noted poet, writing in the same era as the Victorian greats Robert Browning and Lord Alfred Tennyson. Arnold had no fixed abode in the capital until he moved to 2 Chester Square in Belgravia, where is plaque was later erected in 1954.

Bob Marley | Oakley Street, Chelsea

Bob Marley is considered one of the most influencial musicians of the 20th Century. He was commemorated with a blue plaque at 42 Oakley Street in Chelsea in 2019, where he lived in 1977.

Dame Maud McCarthy | Markham Square, Chelsea

Dame Maud McCarthy was the most senior nurse on the Western Front during the First World War. She was honoured with a blue plaque at her former home at 47 Markham Square in Chelsea.

Diana Dors | Burnsall Street, Chelsea

Diana Dors has come to be remembered as the “English Marilyn Monroe” for her leading roles in films such as 1949's Diamond City. By 1953, Diana and her manager/husband Dennis Hamilton moved to Chelsea’s Burnsall Street which she called home until 1968.

P.L. Travers | Smith Street, Chelsea

P.L. Travers wrote the internationally famous children’s book series, Mary Poppins. While living at 50 Smith Street in Chelsea. Her plaque was erected in 2018 by English Heritage, where she lived for around 17 years.

Dame Agatha Christie | Sheffield Terrace, Kensington

Dame Agatha Christie was one of the best-selling writers of all time. Renowned for her detective novels, she wrote some of her most famous works while living at 58 Sheffield Terrace in Kensington, where her plaque was erected in 2001.

Kenneth Grahame | 16 Phillimore Place, Holland Park

Kenneth Grahame wrote the children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows, while living at 16 Phillimore Place in Holland Park, where his plaque was also erected in 1959 by London County Council.

Sylvia Plath | Chalcot Square, Primrose Hill

The American poet Sylvia Plath, lived at two addresses in Primrose Hill in the early 1960’s. Her blue plaque can be found at 3 Chalcot Square, which was erected in the year 2000 by English Heritage.

George Eliot | 4 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and 31 Wimbledon Park Road, Wimbledon

The first blue plaque erected south of the Thames was to the novelist George Eliot at Holly Lodge. Later, she also resided at 4 Cheyne Walk, where Eliot has a second blue plaque, noting that she lived there until her death.

John Walter | Gilmore House Clapham

John Walter was the founder of The Times newspaper, one of the world’s most influential broadsheets. He is commemorated with a blue plaque at 113 Clapham Common North Side, where he lived between 1773 and 1783.

Sir Chrisopher Wren | The Old Court House, Richmond

Sir Christopher Wren is Britain’s most famous architect. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666 he built dozens of new churches, including St Paul’s Cathedral. His Plaque was erected in 1996 by English Heritage at The Old Court House, which was marked as his official residence from 1710.

Virginia Woolf | Hogarth House, Richmond

Virginia Woolf was an innovative novelist, essayist, literary critic, and central member of the Bloomsbury group. She resided with her late husband, Leonard Woolf, in Hogarth House where a blue plaque was erected in 1976 to mark their residence from 1915 – 1924.