Interior view of the swimming pool at Bristol South Baths, Bedminster, Bristol, looking from up on the gallery following one side, across towards the deep end
A brief introduction to Architecture

Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Listed Building

These are the listed buildings cunningly woven into the world of TV series 'Sherlock'

One of the most popular detectives in literature, Sherlock Holmes has seen many outings on the screen.

‘Sherlock’, the BBC1 series with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, makes use of many listed buildings in its filming. Here are a few of our favourites.

187 North Gower Street, London, Grade II listed

Episodes: Various

General view of the exterior of 187 North Gower Street, London. Also known as Speedy's cafe in the TV series 'Sherlock'
187 North Gower Street, London. Grade II listed. © Maria Giulia Tolotti via Wikimedia Commons.

No list could start 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

Episode: The Great Game (Series 1, Episode 3)

Interior view of the swimming pool at Bristol South Baths, Bedminster, Bristol, looking from up on the gallery following one side, across towards the deep end
Interior view of the swimming pool at Bristol South Baths. Grade II listed. © Historic England Archive. View image DP030605.

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, wooden seating, and most of the original slipper baths are original features. The Bristol South Baths were part of a series of swimming pools built in Bristol in the 1920s and 1930s as part of a move to give everyone in the city access to swimming facilities.

Battersea Power Station, London, Grade II* listed

Episode: A Scandal in Belgravia (Series 2, Episode 1)

Battersea Power Station
The iconic towers of Battersea Power Station overlooking the River Thames. Grade II* listed.

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 London’s electricity before it was decommissioned between 1975 and 1983. The building has stood derelict ever since, but plans are underway for a development which will make new use of this Grade II* listed building.

Hound Tor, Devon, Scheduled Monument

Episode: Hounds of Baskerville (Series 2, Episode 2)

Hound Tor Deserted Medieval Village, Manaton, Devon. Audio visual tour.
Hound Tor, Devon. Scheduled monument.

‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ is arguably one of the most famous Sherlock Holmes stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle. It has appeared on film more than 20 times, with Basil Rathbone, Peter Cushing, Tom Baker, Peter O’Toole, Jeremy Brett, and Benedict Cumberbatch all playing the lead role in the story.

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

Episodes: Reichenbach Fall (Series 2, Episode 3) and The Empty Hearse (Series 3, Episode 1)

Oblique view of 10 to 18 Carlton House Terrace, London, showing the southeast facade facing The Mall, with the stairs leading to Waterloo Place to the left
Numbers 10 to 18 Carlton House Terrace, Westminster. Grade I listed. © Historic England Archive. View image aa076611.

The famous, fictional gentleman’s club featured in 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.

Episodes: Various

St Bartholomews Medical School, Clerkenwell, London. General view of the university building and its gatehouse from the north
St. Bartholomews Medical School, Clerkenwell, London. Grade II listed. © Historic England Archive. View image DP093389.

A favourite of the show, and the location of the dramatic scenes at the end of series 2, 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 in 1123.

Written by Paul Wardle-Backhouse, Head of Archive at Historic England


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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