London has the most blue plaques across the UK

By Anita Jaynes on 22 September, 2023

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Have you heard of a blue plaque before? They are an important part of history, helping celebrate the links between notable figures of the past and the buildings in which they lived and worked. This scheme by English Heritage spreads across towns and cities all across the UK and can be spotted in all areas across the country. It’s important to mention you will spot blue plaques in more places than others. Are you aware of how many blue plaques there are in the UK?

London comes out on top with the most blue plaques, with a total of 3376. This is to be expected, considering it is the capital of the UK rich with history, famous figures and landmarks. Edinburgh comes in second place, with a total of 379 blue plaques. This is a significant reduction in blue plaques, however it may be that many pieces of history are missing out by not having a blue plaque. Birmingham comes in third place with 329 plaques. 

Bath, Glasgow and Sheffield come in with the least number of plaques, with 95, 93 and 87. Not only is this a significant reduction in comparison to London and Edinburgh, but these are cities rich with history and culture and are perfect examples of where blue plaques should be located to promote figures and the history of the area. 

3 out of 5 of the top 20 cities’ blue plaques are in the South

Interestingly, 3 out of 5 blue plaques are in the South of the UK. This could imply that research is being focused on the South, over other areas up in the North of the UK. However, the idea that Edinburgh takes second place could imply there is interest in the capitals of the UK. 

Cardiff misses the top 20 list

With London and Edinburgh making the top, from the top down it looks like the capitals of the 4 UK nations are being focused as blue plaque hubs. However, Belfast comes in 15th on the list with 126 blue plaques, and Cardiff not making the list at all. This can imply a large number of plaques are focused on England instead of even distribution across the UK.

There are also many other applications for plaques, including memorial plaques.