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. So desirable in
every way were the apartments, and so moderate did the terms seem when
divided between us, that the bargain was concluded upon the spot, and we
at once entered into possession.
A Study in Scarlet
So begins tenancy at one of the most famous addresses in all of
Within the timeline of the
stories, Holmes lived in London at 221B Baker Street from approximately
1881 to 1903. During this time, the later part of the
Victorian period, the British Empire was at its zenith and
London was the center of all things.
the beginning of the Victorian era in 1837 the population of London was 2
million. The city's population at the time of Queen Victoria's
death in 1901 was estimated to be 6.5 million.
The East End of London contained the neighborhoods where
the poor and working class lived. The more affluent people lived in
the West End. Neighborhoods in the West End included Mayfair,
Kensington and Regent's Park. Baker Street was also located in the
While there really is a Baker Street, there was no 221 Baker
Street during the years of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Baker
Street was very short, less than a mile long. The street ran
north to south with numbered addresses ranging from 1 to 85.
In 1930 some of the surrounding streets were renamed,
buildings were renumbered
and Baker Street became much longer. At that point 221 Baker Street
was a real address.
Soon after this the
building at 221 Baker Street was demolished. A new structure,
Abbey House, took its place. Abbey House served as the head office for the Abbey
Road Building Society from 1932 until 2002. Today the building
is still one of the London offices of
Because of the unique relationship between the company
and Sherlock Holmes, Abbey commissioned a statue of Holmes.
That statue now stands at the entrance of the Baker Street Tube
Station. Abbey also has a person who deals with the cards and
letters, as many as 30 a month, that come addressed to Sherlock Holmes.