Book Addiction

Seductive merchants of the mind

Wimbledon’s Blue Plaques

Blue Plaques adorn some 800 buildings in London, marking sites with some association with remarkable people. Blue plaques have been put up in London for over 140 years, originally under the auspices of the Royal Society of Arts. The first was erected in 1867 to mark the life of the poet Lord Byron but many of the early plaques have been removed. The oldest survivor is from 1867 and commemorates Napoleon III. Responsibility for the plaques transfered to the London County Council in 1901, and to its successor body, the Greater London Council in 1965. English Heritage, the current administrator of the scheme, inherited it in 1986 when the GLC was abolished.

Wimbledon has a number of such plaques but a number of notable residents, some with key literary associations (which make them of special interest to me) – Captain Marryat, Alex Munthe. Spencer Gore, for example, have no blue plaque. Nor does Baden-Powell, who wrote sections of his famous ‘Scouting for Boys’ at the Mill House on Wimbledon Common. William Wilberforce, who lived in a house on Southside, is commemorated with a blue plaque which is not acknowledged by English Heritage.

Josephine Butler, Blue Plaque

BUTLER, Josephine (1828-1906)
Champion of Women’s Rights, lived here 1890-1893
8 North View, Wimbledon Common, SW19

Erected in 2001

Sir Ernst Chain, Blue Plaque, Wimbledon

CHAIN, Sir Ernst (1906-1979)
Biochemist and Developer of Penicillin, lived here
9 North View, Wimbledon Common, SW19

Erected in 2003

DOWDING, Lord, Air Chief Marshall, (1882-1970),
Leader of Fighter Command, lived here 1941-1951.
3 St Mary’s Road, Wimbledon, SW19

Erected in 2000
GRAVES, Robert (1895-1985),
Writer, was born here.
1 Lauriston Road, Wimbledon, SW19

Erected in 1995
RUTHERFORD, Dame Margaret (1892-1972)
Actress lived here 1895-1920
4 Berkeley Place, Wimbledon, SW19

Erected in 2002

SAUNDERS, Sir Edwin (1814-1901),
Dentist to Queen Victoria, lived and died, here
Fairlawns, 89 Wimbledon Parkside, SW19

Erected in 1997

SCHOPENHAUER, Arthur (1788-1860),
Philosopher lived and studied here in 1803
Eagle House, High Street, Wimbledon,  SW19

Erected in 2005

Joseph Toynbee and Arnold Toynbee, Blue Plaque, Wimbledon

TOYNBEE, Joseph (1815-1866)
Aural Surgeon, and his son
TOYNBEE, Arnold (1852-1883)
Social Philosopher, lived here 1854-1866
Beech Holme, 49 Wimbledon Parkside, SW19 (now Parkside Oncology Clinic)

Erected in 2004

Notes current as of April 2009



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