Visiting Fictional History: Sherlock Holmes' Home

Visiting Fictional History: Sherlock Holmes' Home

Abby Stone
Oct 14, 2011

Reading the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, with their vivid attention to detail, it's hard to believe that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective never actually existed. His flat at 221B Baker Street in London, which he shared with his compatriot and biographer Dr. Watson, is central to much of the action.

Exactly 17 steps up from the street, the room, illuminated by two broad windows which face out onto the street and presided over by the formidable Mrs. Hudson, the landlady, is where Holmes receives visitors in distress, taking up beloved violin when perplexed by a particularly challenging problem. The messy room, as quirky and complex as its resident, serves as study, drawing room, laboratory, library and office for Holmes and Watson. And, despite the fact that it never really existed, the Victorian era flat has been recreated (though it's actually located at 239 Baker Street), with Holmes' tiny bedroom just off of it.

• Building entrance: one of the most famous addresses in fiction
• The study: despite its many functions, the room is relatively small. On occasion, a large visitor has seemed to fill the entire rom.
&bubll; Corner detail: Holmes' beloved violin, and his desk/chemical laboratory with its stained desk. Despite its seeming disarray, Holmes is able to find everything he needs here.
• The mantel: Here's where Holmes keeps his correspondence affixed by a jack knife and his tobacco in a Turkish slipper
• Watson's desk: The doctor's desk reveals the precision drilled into him through his military training.
• Holmes' adjoining small bedroom is tidy and functional

True Sherlock Holmes aficionados may be interested in this floor plan, compiled by artist Russell Stutler, based on his careful reading of all of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Images: Sherlock Holmes Museum

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