A brief introduction to Architecture

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Listed Building

One of the most popular detectives in literature, Sherlock Holmes has seen many outings on the screen, and the BBC1 series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman makes use of many listed buildings in its filming.

Paul Backhouse, Head of Imaging at Historic England, takes us through a few of his favourites:

187 North Gower Street, London. Grade II listed

© Maria Giulia Tolotti via Wikimedia commons

Of course no list would be complete without the home of the legendary detective himself, 221b Baker Street. However, 187 North Gower Street is used to film the TV series. Behind the 20th Century Regency style shop front is a Grade II listed building dating from around the 19th Century.

Bristol South Baths, Bristol. Grade II listed

Appears in The Great Game. Series 1 Episode 3

Interior view of the swimming pool at Bristol South Baths © Historic England

The stunning public baths in Bristol opened in 1931 and provide another key location for the Sherlock Holmes series. The decorative tilework, cast-iron balcony and wooden seating, and most of the original slipper baths are original features. This was part of a series of swimming pools built in Bristol in the 1920s and 30s as part of a move to give everyone in the city access to swimming facilities.

Battersea Power Station, Grade II* listed

Appears in A Scandal in Belgravia, Series 2 Episode 1

Battersea Power Station

The former electricity generating station, built by the London Power Company, has been used for many films and TV shows. It also appears on the cover of the Pink Floyd 1977 album ‘Animals’.

At one point the power station supplied almost a fifth of the electricity for the capital, before it was decommissioned in 1975 -1983. The building has stood derelict ever since, and plans are underway for a development which will make new use of this Grade II* listed building.

Hound Tor, Scheduled Monument

Featured in Hounds of Baskerville, Series 2 Episode 2

Hound Tor Deserted Medieval Village, Manaton, Devon. Audio visual tour.
Landscape view taken looking down from rocks at Hound Tor © Historic England

The Hound of the Baskervilles is arguably one of the most famous stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle and has appeared in film more than twenty  times, with Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Tom Baker, Peter O’Toole, Jeremy Brett and Benedict Cumberbatch all taking the lead role.

The landscape of Dartmoor was said to be the inspiration for the book, and the deserted medieval village of Hound Tor and its surrounding landscapes have been frequently used as filming locations.

Diogenes Club, Grade I listed

Appears in Reichenbach Fall, Series 2 Episode 3 and The Empty Hearse, Series 3 Episode 1

10 – 18 Carlton House Terrace, Westminster

The famous, fictional gentleman’s club featured in both the Sherlock books and films is actually the home of The British Academy at Carlton Terrace, London. Built in 1863, the Grade I listed building was designed by John Nash and James Pennethorne.

St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London. Grade II listed.

Appears in various episodes.

St. Bartholomews Medical School, Clerkenwell, London. © Historic England

A favourite of the show, and the location of the dramatic scenes at the end of season two, the Grade II listed North East Wing was built in 1791. It is on the site of the oldest hospital in Britain still providing medical services, founded 1123.

Do you know of any more listed buildings that have been used as filming locations in Sherlock? Let us know in the comments below.

Further Reading

8 comments on “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Listed Building

  1. Now I feel like I’ve been there. thanks!

  2. Reblogged this on The Owl Lady.

  3. Sarah Strong

    In the final episode the Palmerston Fort on St. Catherine’s, Tenby was used as Sherrinford (exterior). Was Grade Ii listed in 1951. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Catherine's_Fort

  4. Nice blog – although the picture captioned 10-18 Carlton HouseTerrace is mostly showing 1-9 (and in the foreground, No4 Carlton Gardens). 10-18 (including the Diogenes at No 10) is way off in the distance in that photo.

  5. You should include a photo of St Bart’s on the side where Sherlock made his leap.

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