List of blue plaques in London and other 'pilot locations'
Frankie Roberto made this Freedom of Information request to Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England
This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.
Dear Sir or Madam,
I'm interested in compiling a map of all the blue plaques erected on buildings in the UK.
To assist with this, could you provide me with a list of all the blue plaques you manage, if available, including all the information printed on the plaque, and the date the plaque was put up.
There seems to be a list on your website (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/serve...) but it doesn't seem all that up-to-date, and doesn't seem to include the 'pilot locations' of Liverpool & Merseyside, Birmingham, Portsmouth and Southampton.
It'd also be preferable to have the data in an easily parseable format, such as a spreadsheet or comma-separated values file.
In addition, I'd appreciate any information you could give me about the Blue Plaques scheme, such as whether the pilot scheme to extend the reach outside London was extended or expanded, and whether there are other organisations who operate similar schemes in other cities, or in Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland that you are aware of.
Finally, I'd also like to have a list of suggested locations which have been rejected, if available (obviously, you can redact the proposer names for Data Protection reason).
Dear Mr Roberto
re: Freedom of Information Request - Blue Plaques
I am in receipt of your email, dated 30 January 2009, for response. In
your email you have requested various information regarding Blue Plaques.
As Access to Information Assistant for English Heritage I am responsible
for processing the request under the terms of the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. We will be writing to you within the statutory 20 working day
timeframe with a response to your request. You will be informed if this
is not possible.
If you are unhappy with the level of service you have received in relation
to your request you may ask for an internal review. You should contact:
Mr Mike Harlow, Legal Director, English Heritage, 1 Waterhouse Square, 138
- 142 Holborn, LONDON, EC1N 2ST
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a
decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The
Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
CHESHIRE, SK9 5AF
Access to Information Assistant
Dear Frankie Roberto,
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request of 30 January submitted
to our Access to Information Manager, with the subject `List of blue
plaques in London and other "pilot locations'''.
The information you have requested is readily available from the Blue
Plaques Team of English Heritage and a Freedom of Information request is
not necessary to obtain it. I will therefore seek to address your points
myself, which I trust will be acceptable to you.
You asked for a list of all the blue plaques we manage, including all the
information printed on the plaque, and the date the plaque was put up. You
pointed out that there is already such a list on the English Heritage
website. I can confirm that this list includes all the blue plaques we
manage and is up-to-date (the latest plaque, to Sir Ralph Richardson,
being included). It features the exact inscriptions on the plaques and the
dates the plaques were erected.
The list does not include plaques erected under our national pilot
schemes. Lists of these plaques are readily available by contacting the
Blue Plaques Team, but I have attached them here for your convenience. I'm
afraid that we are unable to provide this information in a more `easily
parseable format'; the only versions we have are in MS Word.
You have also requested information on the blue plaques scheme. Thorough
and up-to-date information on this is provided on our website, which I
believe you have already visited. The answers to your specific questions
regarding our pilot schemes are as follows:
1. Were the pilot schemes expanded?
The pilot schemes ran between 1998 and 2005, and (as you will see from the
lists) involved the installation of plaques in Liverpool & Merseyside,
Portsmouth, Southampton and Birmingham. For a number of reasons, the
operation of such schemes at a national level was found to be unworkable,
and we now only erect plaques in London, providing advice and guidance to
schemes active elsewhere.
2. Are there other organisations that operate similar schemes in other
cities, or in Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland?
We know that there are hundreds of plaques schemes operating across
England and the UK. These are administered variously by local councils,
civic societies, other amenity and local interest groups, as well as by
specialist organisations. We are unable to say how many schemes are in
operation, nor are we in possession of information on all schemes. You may
be interested to know, however, that there are notable schemes in
Manchester, Oxford, Liverpool, and Bath. In London alone several plaques
schemes exist alongside our own, including the Westminster City Council
Green Plaques scheme, the Comic Heritage scheme, the Southwark Council
Brown Plaques scheme, the Heath and Hampstead Society scheme, and the
Corporation of the City of London's memorial tablets scheme. In addition,
many plaques are erected as `one-offs' by private (and often anonymous)
individuals, in London and across the UK.
Finally, you requested a list of locations rejected for blue plaques. Blue
plaque proposals are generally received in connection with a particular
individual. At the proposal stage we ask for information regarding a
single surviving London address at which the individual lived or worked,
so that we can be sure that it will be possible to proceed with the
proposal should it prove successful (you will have noted that one of the
selection criteria of our scheme is that a surviving London building
associated with the individual must remain intact). The actual location of
the plaque is decided at a later stage, and so there are no `rejected
locations' as such. There are only rejected individuals, and these number
in the thousands.
I was very interested to hear of your plans to compile a map of all the
blue plaques erected in the UK, and would be pleased to discuss this idea
with you. My direct line is 020 7973 3794.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Libby Wardle | Blue Plaques Team
English Heritage | 1 Waterhouse Square | 138-142 Holborn |
London | EC1N 2ST
P Please do not print this email unless you really have to.
Thanks very much for your response to my query.
Good to know that the list of locations in London is up-to-date, and I'm very grateful for the Word doc you attached of the plaques erected during the national pilot projects.
Many thanks to for your tips on other authorities who have their own plaque schemes - I will enquire with them as to the locations of their plaques.
My plans for this data are still in the planning stage, but you can follow progress at http://www.frankieroberto.com/weblog/1406 - I would basically like to enable people to explore information about the plaques (and the stories behind them) from their mobiles.
I am out of the office on the 25th and 26th February. I will respond to your email as soon as possible upon my return. If the matter is urgent, please contact Howard Spencer on 020 7973 3591 or Esther Godfrey on 020 7973 3054.
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