Commemorative Plaques

Since 1980, the Civic Society has been responsible for the plaques scheme that operates in Cheltenham and the surrounding area. It is run according to criteria modelled on those used by English Heritage in London. There are blue plaques for people and green plaques for significant places or events – nearly 60 of them altogether.

Home to many creative, brave and famous people

Cheltenham has been home to many creative, brave and famous people – the composer Gustav Holst, explorer Dr Edward Wilson, Sir Ralph Richardson and other famous names include Alfred Lord Tennyson, Dr Edward Jenner and Brian Jones (late of the Rolling Stones).

As well as significant places and events

Our town has witnessed many significant, historic events such as the first rugby test match. And we’re proud to have a green plaque on the oldest surviving purpose-built Infant School in the country at St James’s Square.

There are specific criteria for plaques, and these can be downloaded here. If you wish to recommend a person or place for a new plaque, please contact the Plaques Officer, Mike Rigby at

Commemorative Plaques of Cheltenham
by Peter Smith and Sue Rowbotham

‘Commemorative Plaques of Cheltenham’, a 2009 book listing all our plaques – with a supplement recording the ones unveiled since publication – is available for £5 on request from the Plaques Officer. We hope you will obtain a copy and use the very clear maps to seek out, at your own pace, these fascinating reminders of Cheltenham’s past citizens and places.

The book tells the stories behind the plaques put up by Cheltenham Civic Society since 1982, and a number of earlier plaques that celebrate notable people associated with the town.

Authors Sue Rowbotham and the late Peter Smith throw light on the broader history of the town through the plaques; from George III’s historic visit in 1788, which changed Cheltenham from a small, isolated market town into a fashionable spa resort, to the present day.

Eight carefully-drawn maps by Brian White detail the individual areas of Cheltenham where groups of plaques can be found, encouraging the reader to learn more about the person or event in the specific context of the plaque’s location. The authors hope that both residents and visitors to Cheltenham will find something to capture their interest and imagination in this book, and will see the town in a fresh light, through the plaques and the stories that they tell.