7 questions on blue plaques

7 questions on blue plaques

English Heritage's blue plaques scheme, which commemorates landmarks associated with historical figures and events, is being suspended after a cut in government funding. They are a familiar sight but how much do you know about them?

A blue plaque

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Who does the oldest surviving blue plaque, erected in 1867, commemorate?

  1. Lord Byron
    Lord Byron
  2. Napoleon III
    Napoleon III
  3. John Keats
    John Keats


The first ever plaque the Royal Society of Arts put up, also erected in 1867, was to commemorate Lord Byron. It was erected at his birthplace in Holles Street, near Cavendish Square, London. The building was later demolished.

Lord Byron

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Writer Anthony Burgess was honoured in 2012 with a blue plaque at the university where he studied - Manchester. Where is the only other monument to the author, according to the university?

Anthony Burgess
  1. London
  2. Venice
  3. Monaco

3.) Multiple Choice Question

The English Heritage plaques have not always been blue. Which of the following colours has also been used?

A blue plaque
  1. Red
  2. Yellow
  3. Brown
  4. All of the above

4.) Multiple Choice Question

A blue plaque marks the birthplace of CB Fry. Known as a cricketer, he is described on the plaque as an "all-round sportsman". Which of these didn't he achieve?

CB Fry
  1. Play in an FA Cup final
  2. Set the British long jump record
  3. Win golf's Open Championship

5.) Multiple Choice Question

Two neighbouring houses in Brook Street, London, have blue plaques. Handel once lived in one, but who lived in the other?

  1. Eric Morecambe
    Eric Morecambe
  2. Vincent Van Gogh
    Vincent Van Gogh
  3. Jimi Hendrix
    Jimi Hendrix

6.) Multiple Choice Question

A blue plaque was erected by the London Borough of Enfield in 2007 to mark the world's first cash machine, which opened in 1967. Who was the first person to use it?

  1. Reg Varney from the television series On the Buses
    Reg Varney
  2. The Queen
    The Queen
  3. England captain Bobby Moore
    Bobby Moore

7.) Multiple Choice Question

The Baker Street home of fictional character Sherlock Holmes has been commemorated with a blue plaque. What number is at the top of the plaque?

Holmes plaque
  1. 112b
  2. 212b
  3. 221b


At the time the stories were written there was no 221 Baker Street. The street was later extended and a building society moved into 219-229 Baker Street. It employed a secretary to answer mail addressed to Holmes. The blue plaque, not an English Heritage one, sits above the Holmes museum at a different location in the street.

Sherlock Holmes plaque


  1. It's Napoleon III, says English Heritage. The plaque is in King Street, St James, London and was erected by the Royal Society of Arts, who originally started what is now the English Heritage scheme.
  2. It's Monaco, where a plaque is outside his former flat where he lived for 17 years. The plaque at Manchester University was erected by the university itself.
  3. It's brown. Over their history the English Heritage plaques have also been other colours including, white, sage green and terracotta, according to the organisation. Now round in shape, they have also been square and rectangular.
  4. It's win golf's Open Championship, although he was an excellent golfer. He played in the 1902 FA Cup final for Southampton - they lost in a replay against Sheffield United. He set the British long jump record in 1892 and equalled the world long jump record the following year.
  5. It's Hendrix. He lived at 23 Brook Street from 1968-69. Handel lived next door at 25 Brook Street from 1723 until his death in 1759. Eric Morecambe has a blue plaque on his former home in Teddington, but it was erected by Comic Heritage not English Heritage.
  6. It's Reg Varney.The cash machine was installed at a branch of Barclays in Enfield, north London.
  7. It's 221b, one of the most famous fictional addresses.

Your Score

0 - 3 : Reality star

4 - 6 : B-lister

7 - 7 : Glitterati

For past quizzes including our weekly news quiz, 7 days 7 questions, expand the grey drop-down below - also available on the Magazine page (and scroll down).

Explore BBC History to find out more about historical figures and events.

You can follow the Magazine on Twitter and on Facebook

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites