There’s no better way to feel like a seasoned Londoner than by pointing out a blue plaque to a bunch of city newbies. And now you can see the exact location of all 933 of these distinctive discs and when they appeared, thanks to Esri UK’s interactive map.
Set up in 1866, the English Heritage blue plaque scheme commemorates the houses and workplaces of famous figures, including the likes of Freddie Mercury, Marie Stopes, Samuel Pepys and Enid Blyton. Esri’s animated map shows the spread of blue dots throughout the ages, from the first plaque (for French Emperor Napoleon III, who lived on King Street off St James’s Square) to the latest, commemorating BBC director-general Sir Hugh Carleton Greene. There have been other Blue Plaque maps out there, including an official English Heritage app, but as far as we know there are none this swishy or up-to-date for your desktop.
Meanwhile, if you fancy buying up a blue plaque address then you’re in luck. The artist John Constable’s former house on Well Walk in Hampstead is on the market, as is the Chelsea flat where Oscar Wilde wrote ‘The Picture of Dorian Grey’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’. And even if you haven’t got a couple of million kicking about, it’s definitely worth a peek from the outside. Think of it as ‘Cribs’, nineteenth-century-style.