Have you ever wondered what would be like to be inside the residence where one of the most famous fictional detectives in the world and his room mate lived? If you are a Sherlock Holmes fan you probably know about this apartment, the starting place of almost all of Sherlock’s and Watson’s adventures. You can actually go inside it, in London, on the same legendary street often mentioned in the books.
The Sherlock Holmes Museum is a privately-run museum in London opened in 1990. It is dedicated to the celebrated 19th-century detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The museum is situated in Baker Street number 221b, the address of the fictional detective, although it actual address is between numbers 237 and 241.
The owners of the museum did a really good job at finding the right place. The Sherlock Holmes Museum is inside a Georgian four-story town house that was used as a boarding house from 1860 to 1936. This perfectly matches with the period of 1881 to 1904, the time when Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson were living on Baker Street as tenants of Mrs Hudson (according to the novels). The museum is run by a non-profit organization called “the Sherlock Holmes International Society”.
If you decide to visit, your experience will start on the Baker Street metro station, where you will be immediately welcomed by the familiar silhouette of detective Holmes.
The Museum has four stories. On the ground floor, there is a gift shop where you can by all sorts of Sherlock Holmes souvenirs. The famous living room and bedroom of Holmes are on the second floor. The rooms for Watson, Mrs. Hudson, the landlady and the owner of the house are on the third floor. On the fourth floor, there is a display of wax figures of various characters from the Sherlock Holmes stories.
In the living room you can find many items that are often mentioned in the novels: Holmes felt hat, smoking pipes, Sherlock’s violin, a magnifying glass, notebooks, a variety of chemicals and equipment that Holmes used in the cases, Persian slippers (in which Holmes sometimes stored tobacco), etc
Holmes’ work desk
The dining table near a window overlooking Baker Street
An unusual statue
A collection of Sherlock’s pipes
A violin textbook. Sherlock was music lover and an excellent violinist
Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by British author and physician Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A London-based “consulting detective” whose abilities border on the fantastic, Holmes is known for his astute logical reasoning, his ability to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science to solve difficult cases.
The character first appeared in print in 1887, and was featured in four novels and 56 short stories by Conan Doyle, as well as later works by other authors. The first novel, A Study in Scarlet, appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 and the second, The Sign of the Four, in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890. The character’s popularity grew with the first series of short stories in The Strand Magazine, beginning with “A Scandal in Bohemia” in 1891; additional short-story series and two novels (published in serial form) appeared from then to 1927. The events in the stories take place from about 1880 to 1914.
The door to Watson’s room on the third floor
Inside Dr. Watson’s room
Medicine books used by Dr. Watson
The room of Mrs. Hudson, the landlady
A reconstruction of a Bust of Napoleon from the story “Six Napoleons”
A wax figure of Jabez Wilson, who was rewriting the Encyclopedia Britannica in the story “The Redheaded League”
Mr. Neville St. Claire the professional beggar from the story “The Man with the Twisted lip”
Moriarty. The head of the London crime scene and Sherlocks biggest enemy
The ghost dog that supposedly haunted Baskervilles, from the famous novel “The Hound of the Baskervilles”
Holmes and Watson rescuing a woman (a scene from “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”)
Souvenirs you can buy at the gift shop