He’s one of the world’s most famous detectives with one of the most famous addresses in literature: 221B Baker Street, London. Sherlock Holmes’ fictional address is the real address of the Sherlock Holmes Museum.
In summer 2013, I waited in line for two hours (including two brief rain storms) to tour the townhouse of this fictitious figure. The popularity of the museum reflects the popularity of Holmes’ himself – likely fueled by the recent BBC/PBS series starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The girl in line in front of me was obsessed!
I must confess I’ve never seen the show, despite my friend Libby’s insistence that I MUST watch it (I just ran out of time before I went to London. I did watch the second Robert Downey/ Jude Law movie.)
For me, I attraction of the Holmes museum was the spectacle, including the elaborate details and displays, and endless souvenirs for a person who never really existed – ridiculous, cheesy fun! I was all in.
You buy your tickets in the house next store, which serves as the gift shop. Then you get in line outside, a line that stretched down the block. There were people from all over the world, and I had a great time talking up the Holmes’ fans.
My friends who were staying in London that summer report they often saw a very long line at the Holmes’ museum.
A man dressed as a British bobby guarded the door, allowing about 1o people in at a time, usually about every 15 minutes.
I was pleased to see that Mr. Holmes has a blue plaque on his house, marking his residence as the home of a prominent person in London (even though he’s fictional).
The dates on the plaque read 1881 – 1904. According to popular deduction, March 4, 1881 marks the beginning of Holmes and Dr. John Watson partnership.
The museum’s website says, “Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson lived at 221b Baker Street between 1881 – 1904, according to the stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”
So, get out your deer stalking hat and magnifying glass because in the next post, we’re going inside the home of Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective.
Just FYI: While in line for the museum, you can check out the amazing array of merchandise at the London Beatles store.