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John Lennon blue plaque in London
Photograph: chrisdorney /

London’s iconic blue plaques are being rolled out across the UK

The capital currently has nearly 1,000 blue plaques that commemorate famous historical people or events

Charmaine Wong
Written by
Charmaine Wong

The iconic blue plaques of London are as interesting for locals as they are for tourists. Dotted throughout the city, nearly 1,000 plaques show passers by the sites of famous historical people or events. They’re awesome at reminding us all of London’s rich, storied history. 

London’s blue plaques are organised by English Heritage and have been around since 1866. And while the project has so far been limited to the capital, that’s about to change. Now the entire UK is set to get blue plaques. 

The idea behind the expansion is to make it easier for Britons to celebrate and commemorate history and heritage in their local areas. While some cities have their own plaque schemes, the expansion of blue plaques is an attempt to provide a common, nationwide heritage scheme. 

The government claims that the blue plaques are more than just round plates stuck on the wall. Apparently the plaques can help people become more proud of and connected with their local areas, as well as encourage tourism. The expansion will be debated in the House of Lords today (September 6). 

Arts and heritage minister Stephen Parkinson said: ‘London’s blue plaques are world-renowned. For over 150 years they have helped to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our capital city and the people who have passed through it.

‘But people everywhere should be able to celebrate the figures who have shaped their community – which is why we are seeking to extend this opportunity across the country, to allow people and buildings from anywhere in England to be nominated.’

We don’t know just yet when or how the expansion will happen, so watch this space for updates. 

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