The Sherlock Holmes pub on Northumberland Avenue, near London’s Charing Cross Station, is much like the countless other pubs in the capital. That is until you venture upstairs where, in the dining room, is a life-size copy of the apartment shared by Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.
Until 1957, the Sherlock Holmes Pub was known as the Northumberland Arms. But then, its owners had the fortune acquiring an entire exhibit dedicated to the world’s most famous detective that had been created for the 1951 Festival of Britain. Curated by the Westminster Library and sponsored by the Abbey National building society, the Holmes exhibit was as detailed as it was authentic.
After the Festival closed, the whole Holmes collection was installed in the pub, which was renamed in honor of its new fictional tenants on the upper floor. The recreated study of 221b Baker Street is, according to the pub, “as it appeared on a crisp day in the years following the great detective’s return to London in 1894.”
The rooms are decorated with the famous pipe, violin, and scientific equipment, while the wall is marked with a VR (for Victoria Regina) made by Holme’s pistol shots. Plaster casts of some great bloodhound prepared by New Scotland Yard lie next to a snuffbox of old gold, with a great amethyst in the center, a gift from the King of Bohemia in connection with the Irene Adler papers.
The attention to detail is remarkable, and the many screen and stage depictions of Holmes and Watson are represented with props and artwork. So lifelike is the representation of 221b Baker Street, that it feels like you’ve stepped back into Conan Doyle’s Victorian London.
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