London Footsteps

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Look on the walls, in shop doorways and on buildings old and new and there you can see many of the clues to the history of London.    The BLUE PLAQUES reveal who lived or was born in a building which has long gone.  Many of the plaques relate to churches and Livery Halls that were lost in the Great Fire of 1666. There are others referring to markets that no longer exist, disasters, religion, men and women of literature, art, politics, notoriety and much more. 

They were originally known as 'memorial tablets' when first proposed by the MP William Ewart in 1863.  The idea was to forge a link between famous people and buildings and it proved popular at a time when London was expanding rapidly.  Responsibility for selecting additional plaques was soon taken up by the Society of Arts. 

Today, memorials come in different colours, shapes and sizes.  English Heritage look after the familiar round blue plaques seen all over the country while in the City of London the plaques are rectangular in shape and were recently re-designed to include the words 'City of London'. In the months and years ahead we can expect to see a lot more of these historical references appearing on the walls of buildings in the Square Mile.    



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