The family which set up the famous museum to the great detective at 221b Baker Street London have recently been to the High Court in dispute over just who is entitled to the museum admission fees.
As these add up to a not unsubstantial few quid short of £2 million, it is understandable, if not elementary. The case is due to be heard in May.
If this plus the beautiful spring weather has re-ignited your Sherlockian investigatory instincts here are few recommendations of other places well known to the great man himself.
As we all know Sherlock Holmes retired to East Dean in Sussex, conveniently situated near to a very good pub, the Tiger Inn. The pub caters for walkers on the Beachy Head coastal path and has the required large portions for healthy sea-air inspired appetites.
In ‘The Valley of Fear‘ Holmes investigates a murder at Birlstone Manor in Sussex involving his enemy Professor Moriarty. The manor is based on Groombridge Place, which Conan Doyle often visited to take part in seances with the owners Louisa and Eliza Saint.
In his non-fiction book ‘At the Edge of the Unknown’ Conan Doyle talks about the ghost of an ostler he saw at Groombridge.
Groombridge Manor, is just outside of Royal Tunbridge Wells, the river Grom providing the original county boundary line between Kent & Sussex. Conan Doyle declared himself not particularly keen on Kent having become the recipient of one of the county’s first speeding offences (original on view at Maidstone Records Office). Groombridge Place is now open to the public and well worth a visit to view the gardens alone.
If you feel you cannot stray out of London, then head for the latest Sherlock Holmes ‘shrine’ in Smithfield at St Bart’s hospital. This is where Holmes originally met Dr Watson, in the Pathology Labs, and it is where according to the BBC’s latest Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch, that he fell to his apparent death from the roof of the hospital. Check out the red phone box for messages (not the usual type found in phone boxes) – tributes to Sherlock Holmes. The BBC’s final scene (with some apparent apologies to Batman) gives nothing away and the plot thickens, all to be revealed in the next series, the production of which is starting now in March 2013.
If the new series picks up where the old left off, then avid Sherlock fans need to be spending some serious time in Smithfield as this is surely where filming must commence.
Blue Badge tourist guide
Posted in Kent, London, Sussex
Tagged 221b Baker St, Beachy Head, Benedict Cumberbatch, East Dean, Groombridge Place, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Sherlock Holmes, Smithfield, St Bart's
It’s easy to see why a great detective such as Sherlock Holmes would want to retire here. Iconic coastline, fantastic walks & a pub full of character, good beer & great food to finish up in.
The last Sherlock series with its cliff hanger ending (yes, that is a clue as to this Blue Plaque’s location) of Holmes surviving a roof-top plunge & then a distraught Watson at his graveside has been sold to 180 countries.
It can be revealed the secrets of his survival have already been filmed, as TV producers were worried the location might change its appearance before the next series starts shooting in full.
If you want to find out more about this and anything you ever wanted to know about Sherlock Holmes then visit the Sherlockology website run by Jules Coomber, David Mather, Emma Grigg and Leif Harstad, all from Kent . Sherlockology is a website dedicated to the series & has been awarded a Shorty Award – the internet’s equivalent to the Oscars – at a presentation in Times Square, New York City.
Here’s another clue to that retirement haven – Sane Date – anagram - elementary really!
Blue Badge tourist guide
Posted in Kent, Sussex
Tagged Blue Badge tourist guide, Blue Plaque, Doctor Watson, East Dean, Kent, New York City cliff-hanger, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlockology website, Shorty Award, the internet’s equivalent to the Oscars, Times Square
Never known not to name drop when the occasion demands it, South East Tour Guides are delighted to share our researched Kentish connections with Sherlock Holmes the original, his adventures and his current re-incarntion.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the original Sherlock Holmes stories, spent much time in Kent straying into the county from his home in Crowborough. He perhaps spent too long in the Garden of England, as once on his way home, he picked up a speeding ticket not far from Folkestone, thought to be one of the first ones ever issued. He was so incensed that he wrote a blistering letter to the Daily Mail.
Sherlock Holmes stories have been set in various parts of Kent such as Margate, and filmed in many atmospheric parts of Kent over the years, Chatham Historic Royal Dockyard, to name just one.
Three additional Sherlock Holmes short stories are set in Canterbury. These ‘alternative Sherlock Holmes’ stories are not by Doyle but by Miles Elward; The Missing Cleric draws inevitably on magnificent Canterbury Cathedral, Kent as well as St Martin’s Church.
The current BBC TV’s hit show Sherlock has transferred with great aplomb, the adventures of the Baker Street sleuth & his accomplice Dr John Watson to the 21st century. The show’s creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gattis have disclosed that it was from the work of Ashford (Kent again) author Michael Hardwick that they drew their inspiration. Hardwick created many new Sherlock Holmes adventures in the Conan Doyle style, as well as writing the novelisation of the irreverent film made by American director Billy Wilder The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock’s last episode on BBC 1 at 10pm on Sunday, stars Benedict Cumberbatch (prep school Brambletye, West Sussex – nearly Kent) as Holmes with Martin Freeman as his colleague Dr Watson.
The coming episode is entitled The Reichenbach Fall a pun on the location in Switzerland (sadly, not Kent) where the original literary Holmes had a fatal confrontation with arch enemy Professor James Moriarty.
Posted in Kent
Tagged BBC, Benedict Cumberbatch, Canterbury cathedral, Crowborough, Daily Mail, Folkestone, Kent, Martin Freeman, Michael Hardwick, Miles Elward, Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Reichenbach Fall
Having sadly not been invited to join the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at this week’s premiere of Steven Spielberg’s epic new film War Horse, I have now got tickets to see it at a local cinema early next week.
In the interim I was idly wondering whether there could be any possible connection between the eagerly awaited movie and the South East of England. A few clicks on Google and bingo! It seems that in the South East, Surrey in particular has been crawling with film crews, actors and horses during the making of the film.
The no man’s land battlefield scenes were filmed at Wisley Airfield in Surrey. Shooting of wartime camp scenes took place at Bourne Wood near Farnham. (This is obviously an extremely versatile and very experienced wood as it has also been used for the opening battle scenes of Ridley Scott’s Gladiator as well as various Harry Potter films, Robin Hood and the new Sherlock Holmes.) Some studio filming was undertaken at Longcross Studios, Chertsey, also in Surrey.
I think South East Tour Guides will definitely be adding a tour of film locations in Surrey to our repertoire!
One of the friends I am going to see the film with says she wept through the trailer, and in the words of one of the film’s stars Emily Watson:
“The Michael Morpurgo book is ‘Black Beauty goes to war’. So if you’re English, two of the most emotive subjects you could touch on are Black Beauty and the First World War. The crew were constantly in tears.”
So I will be setting off with copious hankies at the ready – I can’t wait.
Posted in Events, Home, Family & Fun, Surrey
Tagged Black Beauty, Bourne Wood, Emily Watson, Gladiator, Longcross Studios, Michael Morpurgo, Ridley Scott, Sherlock Holmes, Steven Spielberg, Surrey Film Locations, The Duchess of Cambridge, War Horse, War Horse Film Premiere, Wisley Airfield