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Forever Homes:
Will a blue plaque increase the value of my home?

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May 17, 2023
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People often wonder if a blue plaque would increase the value of their home and research suggests that it would increase a property’s value by more than 25%.

But what is a blue plaque and how do you get one for your home? This blog answers all your questions about the blue plaque system.

What is a blue plaque?

A blue plaque is a distinctive permanent sign to commemorate a link between a house or other building and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as an obvious and immediately recognisable historical marker.

blue plaque

All images: English Heritage

Who administers the blue plaque system?

English Heritage has run the London scheme, which had already been in existence for 120 years, since 1986.

Elsewhere in the country many local councils, civic societies and other organisations run similar schemes.

Who can get a blue plaque?

Members of the public can propose a blue plaque on a building as long as the suggested recipient has been dead at least 20 years.

In the past, different criteria were sometimes used: some plaques were put up to mark the site of a house which has since been demolished, and the 20-year rule did not always apply.

How many blue plaques have been awarded in the UK?

There are around 1,000 ‘official’ plaques in London and countless more across the country.

Do blue plaques only commemorate the lives of real people?

The Sherlock Holmes Museum located at 221B Baker Street, London, bears a plaque for ‘Sherlock Holmes, Consulting Detective 1881-1904’.

Holmes was of course the fictional violin playing pipe smoking super sleuth created by the author Arthur Conan-Doyle. The plaque was unveiled by the former leader of Westminster City Council, Shirley Porter, in March 1990.

blue plaque

Are all plaques a cause for celebration?

A plaque for Karl Marx in Chalk Farm, London, was taken down after it was repeatedly vandalised. Its replacement suffered the same fate and the owner of the house declined a third. The building was later demolished.

Another plaque marking one of Marx’s earlier homes in Dean Street, Soho, was unveiled in 1967. It wasn’t welcomed by some who regarded Marx as too controversial a figure to be honoured.

The then owner of the Quo Vadis restaurant on the ground floor of the building observed: “My clientele is the very best … rich people … nobility and royalty – and Marx was the person who wanted to get rid of them all!”

Blue-chip insurance policies for blue plaque homes

If you are lucky to have a blue plaque at your home, while you enjoy the 25% bonus on your property’s value, spare some time to consider how well protected you are. The blue plaque will mean you will probably need non-standard household insurance from a specialist such as Adrian Flux.

Call 0800 369 8590 for a fast no-hassle quote – 81.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in August 2022 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone. Alternatively book a call-back at a time that suits you.

In the meantime, you can read this helpful blog to find out what makes a Forever Home and why you need specialist insurance for it.

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