Open Plaques

Open Plaques is a project to find and document all the UK’s blue heritage plaques, which commemorate sites where famous events occurred, or with a connection to notable historical figures.

There are currently over 1700 plaques, which can be browsed by area, by person, by role or by organisation. Though the project is currently in alpha the idea is that anyone will be able to add or edit plaques, and display photos uploaded to Flickr. We hope there will be participation from local history groups, schools and so on!

On the data plage, they state that all the data is in the public domain:

We consider the data to be Public Domain, and make no claims of copyright over either the data we’ve collected ourselves, nor the value we’ve added to existing data. That said, we can accept no liability for any issues that may arise over the re-use of this data, and you’re advised to make your own assessment. If you do re-use the data, we’d love it if you could acknowledge Open Plaques, and link back to us – however you are under no obligation to do so.

As there is a field for the plaques’ coordinates, you can view the locations of the plaques on Open Street Map in a given region, for example in Worthing, Bath or Birmingham.

Open Plaques screenshot

See also:

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at and he tweets at @jwyg.

8 thoughts on “Open Plaques: open data about UK heritage sites”

  1. One interesting thing is that lots of the data came from FOI requests by Frankie Roberto. He used WhatDoTheyKnow to make the requests. He describes this process in full here:

    I’m pleased to see FOI starting to extract datasets!

    Another example is the list of postbox locations (, which this project is now using with crowd sourcing to make better data:

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