View all news

“Seeing Through Illusions”: The Unveiling of the Blue Plaque to Honour Professor Richard Gregory

Blue plaque on wall

Blue plaque on the wall of Workhouse Kitchen, St Michaels Hill

Richard Gregory Family

Holding the plaque, Richards Grandchildren and son (L to R - Kiran Rogers, Luutsche Ozinga and Mark Gregory)

Blue Plaque.

Iain Gilchrist and Nishan Canagarajah - University of Bristol

11 May 2017

On 10th May 2017 a new Bristol Civic Society blue plaque was unveiled to commemorate the life and work of Professor Richard Gregory, noted neuropsychologist and prominent University of Bristol academic.

The plaque is positioned on the wall of the Workhouse Kitchen at the base of St Michael’s Hill, above the now internationally famous green and cream-coloured tiles that form the Café Wall Illusion. Fittingly, the plaque features the phrase, “seeing through illusions” – also the title of one of Professor Gregory’s many books, the clever double meaning of which no doubt appealed to his sense of fun.

A speech of welcome was given by Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, followed by an entertaining introductory talk concerning blue plaques by Gordon Young of the Bristol Civic Society. The unveiling was performed by the Right Hon. Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jeff Lovell. Professor Iain Gilchrist of the University of Bristol then spoke to the assembled guests, outlining the importance of Professor Gregory’s contribution to the world of visual perception research, and how he inspired and encouraged both colleagues and students. The speeches were closed by Professor Gregory’s son, Mark, who spoke movingly about his father, and how much the plaque means to his family. The 45 guests of family, friends and University of Bristol colleagues then raised a glass to toast Professor Gregory.

The event marked a proud moment for the Bristol Vision Institute, which had instigated this commemoration in recognition of the local and worldwide importance of Professor Gregory’s work. Its timing is well placed to mark the start of a fundraising campaign headed by Professor Gregory’s partner, Dr Priscilla Heard, and the Workhouse Kitchen, to repair damage to the original café wall.

To view a video of the day click here

Further information

For more information on this crowdfunding campaign headed by Professor Gregory’s partner, Dr Priscilla Heard, and the Workhouse Kitchen, please visit

Edit this page