600 Years and 16 Feet - The Plaque of Dr. Thomas Linacre

 "In a house on this site lived Thomas Linacre, Physician. 1460 - 1524"

"In a house on this site lived Thomas Linacre, Physician. 1460 - 1524"

The view from my hotel window wasn't exceptional, overlooking a bland industrial building. All function. No form. I glanced out this window no less than a dozen times, until I noticed the plaque embedded in a wall across the street and some 16 feet above the walkway. 

This is not street anyone walks down, save the handful of delivery drivers and workers who, during the course of their employment, must travel down the street to conduct business. Any tourist walking by is doing so on accident, and pylons and DO NOT ENTER signs deter any stray cars as well. Navigational apps don't even show the street on the map. It's about as no-man's land as you can get.

Yet there was this plaque, installed and maintained by the city of London, at a height that guaranteed virtually only those wearing stilts would see it. 

In a house on this site
Thomas Linacre
1460 - 1524

In the nearly 600 years since Dr. Linacre's passing, the entire character of London has changed many times over. It's possible -- probable, even -- that the plaque marks not just the longitude and latitude of the good doctor's home, but also the altitude. Today, the sign is some 16 feet above the surface level. But six decades ago, it could have been placed at eye level.

I wonder if descendants of Dr. Linacre ever visit? Do occasional tour groups ever stop by to say "we were there"? And if so, what do the workers and delivery drivers thing of people clustered, or a person gawking, below the sign, straining their necks or standing precariously on the walkway ledge to get a better glimpse of a mark of history? Or is this location largely forgotten, with Dr. Linacre relegated to a Wikipedia page and the occasional footnote for obscure historians?

I don't have answers to these questions. In fact, they stir up questions that I wonder if others will be asking in another 600 years.