London’s Top 10 Blue Plaques

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For hundreds of years, London has been home to some of the greatest creative minds in history. To commemorate their achievements, the Blue Plaque scheme was created to mark the buildings in which they lived and worked. If you want an original view of London, read on to see our Blue Plaque Tour – our top picks of the sites you have to visit, if you want to get closer to some of the most loved designers, artists and the like…

Alfred Hitchcock

1. Alfred Hitchcock

Director of psychological thrillers and suspense films including Psycho, The Birds and Rear Window, Hitchcock lived here in the 1920s and 1930s as his career was starting to take off. During his time in the capital, he filmed classics including The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

153 Cromwell Road, Kensington SW5

Tube: Gloucester Road

Laura Ashley

2. Laura Ashley

Welsh designer Laura Ashley, born in 1925, first started printing her now famous fabrics with husband Bernard in the attic flat of this house, designing scarves, napkins and table mats. She later became a hugely successful businesswoman building an empire of fashion and homeware products.

83 Cambridge Street, Pimlico SW1

Tube: Pimlico

Pre Raphs

3. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Owned by John Everett Millais, this house was the setting of the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848. Considered one of the first British modern art movements, William Holman Hunt and Dante Gabriel Rossetti made up the Brotherhood, whose works include Ophelia and The Beloved (which are now part of the Tate Collection).

7 Gower Street, Camden WC1

Tube: Camden Town

AA Milne

4. A.A Milne

The creator of Winnie the Pooh lived here with his son, Christopher Robin and family for more than 20 years, buying the house in 1919. The exterior of the house remains exactly the same as when Milne purchased it.

13 Mallord Street, Chelsea SW3

Tube: Sloane Square

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5. Vivien Leigh

Gone With The Wind leading lady Vivien Leigh lived here from 1958 when she was married to Laurence Olivier and remained there until her death in 1967. Her home, Flat D, was said to be luxuriously decorated by interior designer John Fowler.

54 Eaton Square, Westminster SW1

Tube: Sloane Square

Oskar K

6. Oskar Kokoschka

After coming to London in the midst of WW2, painter Kokoschka settled here after moving around the city in 1947 with wife Olda. This was the couple’s London base until 1980, when they visited from their new home on Lake Geneva.

Eyre Court, Finchley Road, Westminster NW8

Tube: St. John’s Wood

Jimi-Hendrix

7. Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix lived here for a year in the 1960s, renting the space for £30 a week with girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. The space is now being turned into a museum space to commemorate the musician, linked with the Handel Museum next door.

23 Brook Street, Mayfair W1

Tube: Oxford Circus

Norman Hartnell

8. Sir Norman Hartnell

Norman Hartnell was the mastermind designer behind Queen Elizabeth’s wedding gown, as well as her Coronation dress six years later. The flamboyant British couturier had a royal warrant that saw him dress many members of the royal family, as well as Hollywood icons including Elizabeth Taylor and Marlene Dietrich. This was the site of his business for over 30 years.

26 Bruton Street, Westminster W1

Tube: Oxford Circus

Aubrey B

9. Aubrey Beardsley

Celebrated Art Nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley, whose work was heavily influenced by traditional Japanese art and French poster art, lived here in London, where he mixed with the likes of Oscar Wilde and painter Whistler.

114 Cambridge Street, Westminster SW1

Tube: Pimlico

Lilian Baylis

10. Lilian Baylis

Lilian Baylis, born in 1847, was a theatrical manager famed for reviving the Sadler’s Wells and Old Vic theatres. She also ran three companies, which developed into what we now know as the English National Ballet, the English National Theatre and the English National Opera, respectively. She lived and died here.

27 Stockwell Park Road, Lambeth SW9

Tube: Stockwell