London's Most Wonderful Bench Plaques
Are you the sort of person who makes a habit of reading bench plaques? I am, and I also make a point of photographing the best ones. Over the years, I've accumulated dozens of examples, some of the best of which are presented below.
There must be tens of thousands of bench plaques in London, including many more with unusual messages. We'd love to hear of other examples in the comments.
Bench plaques dedicated to celebrities are covered in another article.
Russell Square. The good reverend seems to have an off-message take on the afterlife
One of many, many curious bench plaques in the churchyard of St Paul's Covent Garden, this is dedicated to composer Fergal O'Mahony. It's the only one we know of to feature a musical score (though Kirsty MacColl's bench in Soho Square features her lyrics).
One of Oliver Bragg's arty plaques, installed in the Square Mile as part of the 2021 Sculpture in the City festival
And another Oliver Bragg plaque in the Square Mile
Captain David Seath tragically died while competing in the London Marathon in 2016. His plaque near Cannon Street is touchingly written.
Joseph Markovitch is commemorated on a bench in Arnold Circus. He clearly lived a sweet life. Joseph was the
subject of a photo-book, published by Hoxton Mini Press in 2013
plaques to celebrities in another article, but this one would not be complete without mention of "The Man, The Myth, The Legend, Dr The Rik Mayall", whose dedication can be found on the Hammersmith traffic island where the opening credits of Bottom were filmed.
Stephen O'Flynn, the proud Irishman, has a memorial bench in Greenwich Park. We have so many questions about his opinions.
Anna Elizabeth Cleary is commemorated near the river in Barnes, with a suitably aquatic metaphor.
"Real Cockney lady" Ellen Doyle is commemorated in the deep west of Eel Brook Common rather than the East End Cockney heartlands you might expect.
One of numerous bench plaques installed in the Olympic Park, designed to mkae yuo thnik.
The Memorial to the "Unknown Husband" (often imagined, much desired, never found), from the South Bank. I snapped this way back in 2006, and haven't noticed it recently. Is it still there?
And finally... having never attended church, I can't begin to speculate what this Leytonstone plaque might mean. Another nearby plaque read "Designated alcohol research bench: Waltham forest council". Photographed in 2015, I suspect this has been removed by now.
Note: I am aware of the much-photographed
plaque to Roger Bucklesby who "hated this park and everyone in it", but have never snapped a photo. Bucklesby never existed, and it's a piece of guerrilla art rather than a genuine memorial.
Last Updated 25 October 2022