Plaque: Astley's first venue
Erection date: 2/4/2018
Philip and Patty Astley first staged spectacular horse-riding feats nearby on Easter Monday 1768. Adding acrobats and clowns, they created what we know as a Circus.
250th anniversary 2018
Easter Monday in 1768 was 4 April. The plaque was erected by the Lambeth Estate Residents' Association.
Site: Astley's first venue and Action for Children (2 memorials)
SE1, Cornwall Road
Video of the plaque unveiling. You can just see one of the horses in our photo, and the gray wigs are on the "cossack" riders. The site of Astley's first performance space, in a field, was just about 50 yards to the east of the plaque. By the next year success meant that the Astleys could set up the more permanent Astley's Amphitheatre, a short distance away. But this plaque marks where "circus" began.
The Action for Children plaque is also on this building (a London Underground electrical substation) around the corner to the right of our photo.