Celebrating 150 years of London’s iconic memorials

This year, English Heritage will mark the 150th anniversary of the Blue Plaques scheme. The idea of placing memorial plaques on buildings with notable inhabitants was first discussed in the House of Commons in 1863. The scheme started three years later and the very first plaque was installed in 1867 at 24 Holles Street, Cavendish Square, the birthplace of Lord Byron. The Blue Plaque Scheme is now so beloved that similar schemes were launched across the UK and in cities all around the world.

To commemorate the milestone anniversary, a number of new plaques will be dedicated over the course of this year to celebrate people who have made significant achievements in many fields, including sports stars, movie stars, musicians and authors. Some of the new star names will include:

Freddie Mercury – A plaque will be placed on the house in Feltham, Hounslow, where the Queen frontman lived for several years starting in 1964.

Bobby Moore – The memorial for the England 1966 World Cup winning captain carries extra significance because 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the triumph. It will also be the first plaque to be placed in the Borough of Barking and Dagenham.

Samuel Beckett – A plaque for the author and playwright will be placed on the home in Chelsea he lived at for three years in the 1930s.

Tommy Cooper – The comedy great will be commemorated with a plaque on his former home in Chiswick, the property he lived in until his death in 1984.

The anniversary will also be marked with two special days of walking tours in May. The celebrations will give people a fantastic opportunity to see where some of the UK’s most famous names resided or where their achievements happened.

Alongside this, English Heritage will launch its new Blue Plaques app so that people can find the locations of the memorials throughout the capital. There are over 900 to choose from so people will be able to search and locate each one with ease. The app will also allow people to plot their own tours so they can visit the ones they are interested in. As designers and manufacturers of kerb sets, headstones and other memorial products, we look forward to this important anniversary and are glad it will draw attention to some of the UK’s most interesting and unique memorials.

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