London’s Worst Typos

We’ve all been there, felt that sinking feeling when you spot a glaring error after you’ve pressed send/publish/print. The good news is, you’re not alone! The capital’s signs are riddled with errors and these are some of London’s worst typos…

The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers

Although there are records of the plastering trade in London since the 12th Century, the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers only received their Royal Charter in 1501.

The Company uses the spelling Plaisterers in the original charter but then uses the current correct spelling (sans ‘i’) in later official documents. This could just be down to historic inconsistent spellings, but typo or not, today they wear their unique spelling with pride!

London's Worst Typos

The current Plaisterers Hall on London Wall was opened in 1972 and is the largest Livery Hall in the City

Shakespeare’s Globe

In the 1990s Sam Wanamaker set himself the huge task of recreating Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Bankside. The project received a large National Lottery grant but no government money and so the Actor-Producer relied on corporations and individual donors to see the theatre realised.

London's Worst Typos

If you’re curious about who generously donated, you just have to look down in the forecourt. The paving stones are inscribed with their names!

But one paving stone contains a little in-joke. Side by side are John Cleese and Michael Palin, comedy partners and members of Monty Python. The story goes that John Cleese donated the money for both plaques, intentionally spelling Palin’s name wrong!

London's Worst Typos

Image Credit Pedro Cambra via Flickr

Lillie Langtry’s Blue Plaque

When it comes to typos, it seems even reliable sources get it wrong and there’s some glaring mistakes on English heritage Blue Plaques!

Lillie Langtry was a hugely popular actress and celebrity as well as mistress to the future King Edward VII. She lived in a house on this site before it became part of the Cadogan Hotel. The only issue is she was born in 1853, not 1852, English heritage made her a whole year older.

London's Worst Typos

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apology plaque russell square

St James’s Park Station

How do you spell the above tube station? It seems not even the station itself is sure…

When it first opened on 24 December 1869, tube maps displayed the station as St. James’ Park but in Harry Beck’s 1933 map it’s shown without the apostrophe; St. James Park.

St James Park Grammar

It was only after 1951, reflecting a change in punctuation fashion, that it became known as; St. James’s Park. However, you can still see a example of the earlier spelling, they kept one roundel with the original 1920s spelling!

St James Park Grammar

Thomas de Quincey’s Blue Plaque

Another example of a blue plaque gone rogue is this one in Covent Garden.

“Confessions of an English Opium Eater” gained Thomas overnight fame but was criticised for glamourising the opium experience. He had a pretty miserable time in his London home, suffering with debt and the after-effects of addiction. Then, to cap it all off, his name is spelt wrong on the plaque. He’s missing an ‘e’!

On the plus side, The Guardian named his memoirs one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time.

Weird London Blue Plaques

Got any more strange typos to add? I’d love to hear them!

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