The National Blue Plaques Scheme

Commemorating extraordinary people from across England

Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judy Dench looking cheerful in front of the Blue
Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judy Dench standing next to the Blue Plaque of John Gielgud. © Historic England

We're raising funds for the new National Blue Plaques Scheme which will, over the next 2 years, celebrate up to 20 extraordinary people from all corners of England.  

A national blue plaques scheme has been launched by Historic England to celebrate people who made an important and positive contribution to human welfare or happiness across England. The scheme, which will be developed and led by Historic England, will recognise that every place has a unique story to tell, and help to showcase the importance of heritage everywhere. 

The first blue plaque was unveiled at the birthplace of Lord Byron, the renowned poet, in London's Cavendish Square. This humble beginning marked the inception of a tradition that would spread across the world, celebrating the lives and achievements of individuals who left an indelible mark on their communities and the world at large. The Blue Plaques Scheme has since evolved into a powerful means of connecting the present to the past, bridging generations, and preserving the stories of those who have shaped our history. 

“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.” 

Lord Parkinson, Arts and Heritage Minister. Department for Culture, Media and Sport 

Donations to the scheme will help to recognize and highlight the people, places, and events that have shaped the identity of communities, fostering a sense of connection, pride, and continuity. 

“Standing in a historic place and finding a blue plaque brings us face to face with our shared history. We want to help people feel a stronger connection to the history all around us and shine a light on the people and places of the past which have made us who we are.” 

Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive, Historic England

There's still time to become part of the inaugural cohort of National Blue Plaques supporters. By joining our generous donors to the National Blue Plaques Scheme, you’ll be among the first to know about new plaques being installed and have access to dedicated events relating to the extraordinary people we are commemorating.  

Donate here and help us tell remarkable stories of extraordinary people from across England. 

Patricia Routledge and members of the Women's Voluntary Services at the Stella Reading Blue Plaque.
Patricia Routledge and members of the Women's Voluntary Services at the Stella Reading Blue Plaque. Patricia Routledge and members of the Women's Voluntary Services at the Stella Reading Blue Plaque. © Historic England