Sherlock's Top 10 London locations
Sherlock and London, inseparable
Sherlock Holmes and London, a veritable pleonasm. Once in the shoes of a detective, the British city reveals its secrets. Top 10 places in the series to discover absolutely.
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital
Pushed to the limit by Professor James Moriarty (Andrew Scott), Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) commits suicide from the top of this hospital, under the stunned gaze of his sidekick John Watson (Martin Freeman). This scene is one of the most emblematic of the series and is a reference to the Reichenbach scene in which Sherlock and Moriarty dive and disappear together in the waterfalls. The hospital comes back several times in the show because Watson was studying there. It is also here that he meets his future roommate, Sherlock Holmes, during the first episode. His famous shoulder injury, causing problems with his leg before miraculous healing, alludes to the various inconsistencies on this subject in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s accounts. In the novel Study in Pink, the meeting between Holmes and Watson also takes place in this establishment. Built at the same time as a priory in 1123, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, also called Barts by Londoners, is the oldest English hospital still in operation.
221 B Baker Street
Sherlock Holmes and John Watson reside at 221 B Baker Street but the apartment visible on the screen is actually at 187 North Gower Street, a few hundred yards from the real address of the hero of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel. The small Speedy’s sandwich café located just below is a real place to dive into the heart of the series, while tasting the wraps renamed Sherlock & Watson for the occasion. If Dr. Watson is played by Martin Freeman, Matt Smith had auditioned for the role. The actor then became a doctor, however, as he was hired a little later to play Doctor Who.
The famous fictitious club for gentlemen Diogene appears when Watson is taken there under the orders of Mycroft Holmes. The detective’s brother is the co-founder of this establishment which forbids members to talk to each other except in the stranger’s room. The facade filmed by the production is that of the British Academy. Created in 1902 by royal charter, it is concerned with the human and social sciences, including the study of classical antiquity. It was during this period that Diogenes of Sinope, the Greek philosopher and representative of the cynical school, lived, whose name was given to the fiction club.
Residence of Irene Adler
The only woman in the world who has upset Sherlock Holmes is Irene Adler (Lara Pulver). Half eater, half demon, she’s one of the detective’s only weaknesses. In the same episode, the first of the second season, Sherlock puts on the famous headgear, the deerstalker, to hide from the photographers. The production decided to make it a recurring gag because the representation of Sherlock Holmes is often associated with this hat, whereas it is never mentioned in the novels. This London square has seen many famous residents, including two British actors known for the role of James Bond, Sean Connery at number 7 and Roger Moore at number 22.
Battersea Power Station
Invited against his will to get into a car with tinted windows late at night, Watson is taken to this old power station to be introduced to a man who says he cares about Sherlock. Taking him for an enemy, Watson doesn’t confide in him. It will later turn out that this man is Mycroft, Sherlock Holmes’ brother. Its interpreter, Mark Gatiss is the co-author of the series. He knew Benedict Cumberbatch very well from his role in the 2006 movie Starter for Ten. A Malaysian consortium has taken over the area, which has been abandoned since its closure in 1983, and plans to build a luxury hotel, housing and a shopping centre.
Tower of London
Moriarty, a tourist, makes a photographic reconnaissance of the places housing the crown jewels. While the exterior was filmed at the Tower of London, the interior scenes were shot in Cardiff Castle. Although the episode refers to the Reichenbach Falls in which Moriarty and Sherlock die, it is only mentioned through a painting by William Turner (1775-1851), which Sherlock found. The fortress housing the tower was built from 1066, while the famous white tower was not built until 1078 under the orders of William the Conqueror (1027-1087). Taking advantage of a succession crisis, he seized the crown of England in 1066 and established French as the official language of the court. Some terms from the language of Molière then remained in that of Shakespeare.
As part of his investigation to solve a burglary of a financial company in which two symbols were painted on a wall, Sherlock asked a graffiti artist for help. This one takes him to South Bank Skate Park to show him a tag that he might be interested in. Benedict Cumberbatch works on his lean and angular appearance drastically on the set. He does not smoke, consumes honey daily and practices swimming and Bikram yoga.
Tapas Brindisa Soho
For his first investigation with the detective, John Watson is not disappointed. The doctor has to deal with action, adventure and hideouts in restaurants. In Tapas Brindisa Soho’s Tapas Brindisa Soho, for example, Sherlock watches for a taxi to arrive and the two roommates discuss Watson’s injury. This one is psychological, according to the detective. Open since 2008, this famous tapas restaurant recreates the atmosphere of a bodega. After seeing him in the film Reviens-moi, Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss were certain that Benedict Cumberbatch was the right choice to play Sherlock. To perfect his role, the British actor read all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novels.
The Old Bailey
The trial of the dangerous criminal Moriarty takes place in this courthouse. In reality, only the exterior was filmed, the interior scenes being shot in Guildhall, Wales. The Old Bailey is where the criminal affairs of Greater London are handled. The building was constructed on the medieval site of the Newgate prison. If you happen to find yourself before one of these judges, it is customary to call them “My Lord” or “My Lady”, regardless of their hierarchy.
Russell Square Gardens
In a park, Watson meets Mike Stamford (David Nellist), an old comrade. The doctor explains to him, on a bench that has since been removed, that he has been in a precarious situation since his return from the front, and Mike informs him that an affordable apartment is available in London: 221 B Baker Street. He then introduced her to his new roommate at Saint Bartholomew’s hospital. This large public garden is located very close to the British Museum and was transformed in 2002 to restore it to its 19th century appearance. Shot in modern times, the series has changed Sherlock’s behaviour with contemporary objects. Thus, the scene in which the detective infers several aspects of Watson’s life from a pocket watch in the novel is brought up to date by using a mobile phone in the series.
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By Anthony Thibault
From the "Casimir generation", Anthony has kept (in addition to a passion for Goldorak) a taste for inventive images, experimentation and curiosity. Passionate about travel and pop culture, he co-founded Fantrippers with Nicolas Albert to share his passion with as many people as possible.