Canterbury Society Blue Plaques Project Now Complete

Canterbury currently has very few of the famous Blue Plaques, despite having been home to many interesting and important people. The Canterbury Society Blue Plaques project was set up in 2020 and began by inviting suggestions from the general public for the names of individuals (and events) who have some connection with the city and who deserve to be remembered and commemorated.

Many excellent suggestions for new blue plaques were received and from them fourteen have been selected by the Working Group leading the project. The Working Group includes people from the Canterbury Society, the Canterbury Commemoration Society, the Universities and other experts and worked closely with the Heritage and Conservation Team at Canterbury City Council. Over £9500 was raised to fund the project via a combination of sponsorship, crowd funding and individual donations.

Fourteen new blue plaques were put in place across the city this month::

1) Sarah Baker (1736/7-1816) Theatrical entrepreneur and actor.
2) Aphra Behn (1640-1689) Writer, poet, translator.
3) The Coal Yard Gate North Lane Terminus Canterbury to Whitstable Railway 1830.
4) Ian Dury (1942-2000) Singer/songwriter, artist and actor.
5) Elizabeth Elstob (1683-1756) Writer, scholar and translator.
6) John Green Hall (1835-87) Canterbury’s first City Surveyor.
7) John Lyly (1553-1606) Poet, Playwright and Parliamentarian.
8) Lord Cornwallis (1892-1982) Freemason. Provincial Grand Master of Kent
9) Michael Powell (1905-90) Film-maker. Directed A Canterbury Tale (1944)
10) Audrey Williams (1902-78) Archaeologist, discovered the Roman pavement beneath the Roman Museum in Butchery Lane
11) Catherine and Stephen Williamson (1896 – 1977) Donated Tower House and Westgate Park to the people of Canterbury.
12) R.W Humphrey (1898-1956) Founded the Canterbury Bat and Trap league 1922.
13) Canterbury West Station. Terminus of the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway from 1846 to 1952
14) Weighbridge Cottage. Orient Place. Canterbury. The worlds first railway season ticket was issued here in 1834

Jan Pahl, Vice President of the Canterbury Society said, ‘The aim of the Blue Plaques Project is to celebrate our heritage and to make our city an even more fascinating place for visitors and residents. The Blue Plaques Working Group is now working to produce a leaflet for a guided walk with a view to an “official opening” in May this year.”