Walking around London, you may notice blue plaques on buildings with the names of people including famous authors, musicians, and politicians. And while similar commemorative plates can be found on buildings outside the UK capital too, the official scheme doesn't extend beyond London - yet.
But that could soon change under new plans to have buildings linked to famous people from the past from other UK towns and cities officially recognised.
Blue plaques celebrate the links between buildings lived or worked in by notable past figures. The capital’s scheme was launched in 1866, with those in the rest of the country managed through various local bodies.
But there is now a move to create an official England-wide system, with the House of Lords set to debate an amendment to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to change the current capital-only approach.
The amendment is being tabled by arts and culture minister Lord Parkinson and is also backed by Baroness Pinnock and Lord Mendoza.
Lord Parkinson said: “London’s blue plaques are world-renowned. For over 150 years they have helped to celebrate the rich and diverse heritage of our capital city and the people who have passed through it.
“But people everywhere should be able to celebrate the figures who have shaped their community – which is why we are seeking to extend this opportunity across the country, to allow people and buildings from anywhere in England to be nominated.
“I encourage people to get thinking about who has helped to define their community and makes them proud of where they live so that their impact on their home area, as well as the wider world, can be recognised and celebrated.”
Some famous blue plaques in London include John Lennon's Marylebone plaque, Sigmund Freud's in Hampstead, George Orwell's in Kentish Town, and Vincent Van Gogh's in South Lambeth.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Historic England and English Heritage will together develop a new wider scheme.