Despite the fact that the man in question never actually existed and the fact that the address itself was a total fabrication, there is still a huge following of the stories relating to London’s first Consulting Detective. When Conan Doyle put pen to paper and wrote those first incredible detective stories, the numbers of the buildings in Baker Street went no further than 100, yet in 1990 a house was opened to the public which dates from 1815 and is comparable in description to the layout of rooms described by Conan Doyle and is being offered to the public as a true and authentic representation of Holmes’ lodgings at 221b Baker Street.
An Authentic Residence
This building was last used as a lodging house in 1936 and the famous rooms in question, the study overlooking the comings and goings of Baker Street remains very much as a Victorian Gentleman’s study. This is perhaps one of the smallest museums in the city, and with such a cult following can easily become crowded and cramped. Yet visitors still come, all of them looking for an authentic Sherlock Holmes experience. Just how authentic the experience can be when the museum is dedicated to a fictional detective is down to the individual, but the rooms here are filled with authentic Victorian memorabilia and the rooms are perfectly kept in period style.
221b Baker Street
The address used by the museum is 221b Baker Street which as we all know was the ever so famous address of Sherlock Holmes, however the actual building that is situated where 221b should be in the street belongs to the Abbey National Bank, a little further south from the site of the museum. If you are a true fan of the short stories, or in fact the many cinematic and televisual representations of the great consulting detective, then you will enjoy the period rooms in this three story house, filled with a wide range of Victoriana, ambient flickering candle light and of course the obligatory deerstalker hat. But Madame Tussauds this is not and the quality of the wax work figures that occupy the rooms leave a lot to be desired. Holmes’ arch adversary James Moriarty is represented in wax as is the ‘man with the twisted lip’, just remember to keep your literary imagination intact as you encounter these mannequins.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The museum is lacking in one very important thing though. For all of the Victoriana and faithful recreation of the study, there is very little information or material on display relating to the man who created this master of detection. Surely with so many people coming to pay homage to a man who never existed, there should be more than a nod in the direction of the man with the incredible mind and vision that created him in the first place? Fans will be able to pick up something suitably Sherlock themed in the museum gift shop to remind them of their visit to this strange little museum.