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221B Baker Street

Sherlock Holmes

221B Baker Streetis the London address of the

fictional detectiveSherlock Holmes, created by


author SirArthur Conan Doyle. In the United
Kingdom, postal addresses with a number followed
by a letter may indicate a separate address within a
larger, often residential building.Baker Streetin
Holmes' time was a high-class residential district,
and Holmes' apartment was probably part of a
Georgianterrace.

At the time the Holmes stories were published, addresses in

Baker Street did not go as high as 221. Baker Street was later
extended, and in 1932 theAbbey National Building Society
moved into premises at 219229 Baker Street. For many
years, Abbey National employed a full-time secretary to
answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. In 1990, a
blue plaquesignifying 221B Baker Street was installed at the
Sherlock Holmes Museum, situated elsewhere on the same
block, and there followed a 15-year dispute between Abbey
National and the Holmes Museum for the right to receive
mail addressed to 221B Baker Street. Since the closure of
Abbey House in 2005, ownership of the address by the
Holmes Museum has not been challenged, despite its
location between 237 and 241 Baker Street.

We met next day as he had arranged, and

inspected the rooms at No. 221B, Baker


Street, of which he had spoken at our
meeting. They consisted of a couple of
comfortable bed-rooms and a single large airy
sitting-room, cheerfully furnished, and
illuminated by two broad windows.
(Arthur Conan Doyle,A Study in Scarlet,1887)

When the "Sherlock Holmes" stories were first published, street

numbers in Baker Street did not go as high as 221, which was


presumably why Conan Doyle chose a higher street number for the
location of his hero, to prevent any person's actual residence from
being affected.
The section north ofMarylebone RoadnearRegent's Park now
including 221 Baker Street was known in Conan Doyle's lifetime as
Upper Baker Street. In his first manuscript, Conan Doyle put
Holmes' house in Upper Baker Street, indicating that if he had a
house in mind, it would have been there. However, a British crime
novelist named Nigel Morland claimed that, late in Conan Doyle's
life, he identified the junction of Baker Street and George Street,
about 500 metres south of theMarylebone Road, as the location of
221B.Sherlockian expertshave also held to alternative theories as
to where the original 221B was located and have maintained that it
was further down Baker Street

TheSherlock Holmes Museumis situated within an 1815

townhouse very similar to the 221B described in the stories


and is located between 237 and 241 Baker Street. It displays
exhibits in period rooms, wax figures and Holmes
memorabilia, with the famous study overlooking Baker Street
the highlight of the museum. The description of the house can
be found throughout the stories, including the 17 steps
leading from the ground-floor hallway to the first-floor study. [2]
According to the published stories, "221B Baker Street" was a
suite of rooms on the first floor of a lodging house above a
flight of 17 steps.[2]The main study overlooked Baker Street,
and Holmes' bedroom was adjacent to this room at the rear of
the house, withDr. Watson's bedroom being on the floor
above, overlooking a rear yard that had aplane treein it.[