Blue Plaque Scheme

The award of Blue Plaques in Bristol is now organized by the Bristol Civic Society through its Blue Plaque Panel. Use the following link for information about how the scheme is run and how you can nominate sites for an award.

Dame Katharine Furse

Katharine FurseA Blue Plaque was unveiled on 7 September to Dame Katharine Furse. The plaque celebrates the life of this inspiring, if previously locally unknown, woman. The daughter of literary critic and poet John Addington Symonds, Katharine was born in Clifton Hill House in 1875. She joined the British Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment, becoming Commandant and leading the first VAD Unit sent to France in 1914. She resigned, frustrated that nurses did not have the power to introduce reforms that they knew from their first-hand knowledge were necessary. But her organisational capabilities were recognised by the Navy. In 1917 she was asked to lead a new women’s naval auxiliary. This became the Women’s Royal Naval Service, better known as the Wrens (WRNS). In the inter-war years she set up the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts and was Director of its World Bureau.

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Shirehampton Masonic Lodges

Shirehampton masonic lodgeThe George Inn, Shirehampton
A plaque (picture on the right) was unveiled in July to commemorate the inaugural meeting on 24 June 1791 of the Masonic Lodge of Jehosaphat.

The Lamplighters, Shirehampton
A plaque was unveiled in July to commemorate the inaugural meeting on 24 June 1795 of Bristol Freemasons celebrating the feast of St John the Baptist.

Location of the Shirehampton Plaques on Google maps.

Find out more about the Blue Plaque scheme.

Rummer Inn

Rummer Lodge plaqueAn iconic tavern in the heart of our city, within a stone’s throw of the ancient crossroads – Corn/Wine/High and Broad Streets, where Bristol’s High Cross once stood. On 24 June, at the Rummer Inn in All Saints’ Lane, a plaque honouring an historic occasion was unveiled.

The inaugural meeting of Freemasons took place on 12 November 1735 in the older part of the Rummer Inn. In 1741 a comprehensive scheme to build the Corn Exchange was announced. The pub was partly rebuilt and redesigned by John Wood the Elder, the architect of the Exchange, in 1743. Its yard became part of a new thoroughfare, All Saints’ Lane. It is Wood’s façade, contemporary with the Exchange’s Palladian elevations, that we see today.

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Shakespeare public house

Shakespeare PlaqueA blue plaque has been unveiled on the Shakespeare public house in Prince Street, close by the quays. It embellishes a handsome rank of grade II*-listed houses of 1725; the middle one was converted to a pub around fifty years later. And it was in 1784 that the Shakespeare inn held a meeting of the Beaufort Lodge of Freemasons. John Hopkins, the husband of landlady Hannah, was a freemason. The Lodge’s annals record: 'it used to be largely frequented by captains and officers of merchant ships. It was kept very select and no common sailor or dock labourer would have presumed to enter without instructions from his superiors.'

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Richard Gregory

Richard GregoryProfessor Richard Gregory, neuropsychologist and founder of the Exploratory, forerunner of At-Bristol

On 10 May a leading expert on illusions was honoured with a blue plaque. Professor Richard Gregory was a neuroscientist who spent more than fifty years investigating how our eyes and brain work together to perceive the world around us. He used optical illusions as research tools to investigate the way our brains process images.

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William Herapath

Herapath groupWilliam Herapath (1796‒1868)

On 20 February an unveiling took place at the Packhorse Inn, on the Lawrence Hill railway bridge at Church Road. The plaque tells a fascinating story: William Herapath was the son of the publican and grew up here in the early years of the nineteenth century. He took over the running of the pub and the task of fermenting his beer whetted his interest in chemistry. He went on to develop an impressive CV, become a founder member and fellow of the Chemical Society of London, professor of chemistry and toxicology at the Bristol Medical School and vice-president of the Bristol Political Union.

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Daniel Wade Acraman

AcramanA blue plaque has been unveiled to commemorate the iron founder and patron of the arts, Daniel Wade Acraman (1775-1847).

On 17 February 2017 around 40 people gathered on the quayside at Arnolfini for the ceremony. Acraman was responsible for building the Acraman Warehouse in 1831, a building which today houses the Arnolfini. Speakers included the Right Honourable the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jeff Lovell; Bill Marshall, Pro Vice-Chancellor, UWE; Francis Greenacre, art historian, lecturer and author; Helen Davies, Interim Chief Executive, Arnolfini and Wendy Shepherd, great-great-grand-daughter of Daniel Wade Acraman.

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Troubadour folk club

bcs website troubadourA beauty clinic at 5 Waterloo Street, Clifton now has a blue plaque to commemorate the Troubadour folk club which was based there from 1966 to 1971.

In the sixties, Georgian Clifton was dilapidated and bohemian, providing cheap accommodation for students, artists, musicians and writers. Inspired by New York’s colourful and alternative neighbourhood, Greenwich Village, the folk club gave its address as ‘Clifton Village’ on posters in 1970, the first time this address was used. Clifton Village is now firmly established in our vocabulary, and especially the patois of estate agents, restaurants and coffee shops.

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Gordon Welchman

Welchman PlaqueOn 26 September 2016, a Bristol Civic Society Blue Plaque to honour a World War II codebreaker now appears on St Mary’s Church, Fishponds. Gordon Welchman worked on signals intelligence with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, analysing German military messages. His work formed the basis for what is known today as meta-data analysis. Under Gordon’s direction, codebreaking evolved from a linguistic base to one based on mathematics.

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