Baker Street in “Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia”

For this assignment, I decided to focus on what could possibly be the most important setting in a Sherlock Holmes tale, the West End location of Sherlock Holmes’ home, Baker Street.

Frankly, I’ve never been much of a fan of Arthur Conan Doyle or his works, and all I know about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson is that they are detectives, and their headquarters were located at 221B Baker Street in London. It is for this reason I decided to dig a little deeper into its history, and find out exactly what kind of area it was to live in.

First off, it is seen almost immediately in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” as the tale opens with John Watson paying Holmes a visit at his residence on Baker Street, before they are interrupted by a visitor, who turns out to be the King of Bohemia in disguise, looking for the detective’s assistance in foiling a plot by his vengeful mistress, Irene Adler. Judging by the fact that a king could walk down Baker Street (albeit wearing a mask) at night without being accosted by burglars or the like, this gave me the assumption that Baker Street was not a particularly risky place to live.

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As you can see from the above map from the 1890s, Baker Street was surrounded by many hotels on nearby streets, giving the impression that it was located in an upper class area that was prime for travelers to stay in. There was also a tube station on the street in later years, and was located close to a fire station, which would have made the residents of Baker Street a priority for the fire brigade if there were ever an emergency, judging by their close proximity. There was also the large Baker Street Bazaar, a shopping area where people came to buy food, clothing, and see exhibits, such as an early version of the famed Madame Tussaud’s wax museum. This backs my belief that Baker Street was in a well-to-do area of London, populated by the middle class and the wealthy and with little crime.


Above: The Baker Street Bazaar, as seen in 1845 for a cattle show.

Truth be told, while searching the Old Bailey Proceedings for news of crimes committed on Baker Street, I could find only victims and other witnesses that gave their addresses as Baker Street, and no crimes that were actually committed there. I thought I may have found an animal theft occurring on Baker Street in an account describing the arrest of one George Welldon, but it turns out that the defendant lived on Lloyd Baker Street in Clerkenwell.

Overall, Baker Street seemed to be located in a safe, upper class community, and today is home to the Sherlock Holmes Museum, located, not surprisingly, at 221B. The legacy of Sherlock Holmes and his living place on Baker Street continues to shape the street’s fame and economic value even today.

“Adventure I. – A Scandal in Bohemia.” The Strand Magazine: Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Vol. 1. Stanford: Stanford U, 2006. N. pag. The Strand Magazine. Stanford University, 27 Jan. 2006. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. <>.

“London – OS Town Plan 1893-6: Baker Street, London.” Google Maps Engine: Map View. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. <>.

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 7.2, 17 October 2015), October 1768, trial of George Welldon (t17681019-34).

The Sherlock Holmes Museum. Digital image. The Fussiest Eater. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. <>.

Jackson, Lee. Baker Street Bazaar. Digital image. Victorian London. Nassau Steam Press, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2015. <>.

One thought on “Baker Street in “Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia”

  1. nice post, thanks for your share this it a nice post 🙂 i like it 🙂 this it very helpful 🙂

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