The Sherlock Holmes Museum
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: For lovers of Conan Doyle's literary detective, this is heaven
On the third floor are exhibit rooms with wax models of scenes from the Holmes stories. In the attic is a lumber room used by real lodgers here to store their trunks.
The museum also owns an original horse-drawn 1899 Forder Hansom cab, which can be hired for coach rides.
The short answer is that we don't know. No record of lodgers exists. We do know from local authority records that the house was licensed as a lodging from 1860-1934, a fact that Doyle must have known when he used the address for his stories. Dig a little deeper and several curious 'coincidences' emerge; records show that serving maids who worked here were related to a Mr Holmes. Even stranger, in the 1890s a Dr Watson lived next door. He was not a doctor of medicine, however, but a denture maker, or as the records quaintly put it, 'artificial teeth manufacturer'.
I confess I was a little apprehensive when I visited the museum for the first time. Why on earth would I be apprehensive? Well, I grew up on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's wonderful stories, and to say that Sherlock Holmes was a hero of my childhood would not be overstating things. I was worried that the museum would have over-commercialised Sherlock and Watson, creating a 'Holmesian theme park' atmosphere.
The atmosphere was perfect, and was only enhanced by a friendly room steward, who encouraged me to sit in Holmes's chair, cram the deerstalker on my head and pick up a convenient magnifying glass. This not a museum where eagle-eyed stewards will hiss at you to keep your hands off the exhibits, it is a place where you almost become part of the exhibits yourself. I had a wonderful time, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend a visit. It certainly was a lot less stress than Madame Tussaud's, just around the corner on Marylebone Road, where people were lined up for over a block, waiting to get in.
The museum is currently open every day except Christmas. The nearest tube is Baker Street station, just a few minutes walk away.
Bottom 3 photos are courtesy of the Sherlock Holmes Museum
About The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Address: 221b Baker Street, London, Greater London, England, NW1 6XE
Attraction Type: Museum
Location: A minutes walk from Baker Street tube station, around the corner from Madame Tussaud's
Website: The Sherlock Holmes Museum
Phone: 0207 224 3688
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
Nearest station: Baker Street - 0.1 miles (straight line) - Zone: 1
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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