Over the previous months, we’ve been adding snippets of our documentary of the decision by Arthur Conan Doyle to finish off his famous creation Sherlock Holmes. In fact, we’ve currently reached the part where Doyle had done the deed and Holmes has apparently plunged to a watery grave.
If you missed that instalment of our documentary, worry not, you can read it here!
A TRULY HISTORIC HOSPITAL
But, as you know, we love to give our readers suggestions of places they can visit under their own steam when not participating in our nightly Jack the Ripper guided walking tour, and today we’re going to suggest a visit to the oldest hospital in London to still stand on its original site – the hospital of St. Bartholomew, or Barts, as it is more affectionately known.
The hospital itself dates back to 1123 when it was founded alongside the neighbouring monastery of St Bartholomew, although most of its buildings came into being in the 18th century.
WHERE WATSON MET HOLMES
It was in the Pathology Department of the Hospital that one of the fictions most famous meeting took place – the meeting of Dr. John H. Watson with Sherlock Holmes.
For many years a plaque on the wall inside this department marked the spot where the meeting supposedly took place. However, the plaque can now be viewed in the hospital’s museum, which is free to enter and which is open to the public Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.
Here it is.
Don’t you just love the phrase “these deathless words”?
It is a truly fascinating museum and is well worth a visit.
THE FALL OF BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH
However, Barts Hospital has recently caught the public’s collective Sherlockian imagination thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch and Sherlock.
For it was off the roof of the aforementioned Pathology Building that Sherlock – or Benedict – “apparently” leaped to his death at the end of series two.
If you didn’t see the scene in question, you can watch it on the following youtube video.
SHERLOCK’S PHONE BOX MEMORIAL
His body “apparently” lies in a bloody, mangled heap on the pavement below, and just a short distance away from a red phone box that sits up against the wall of said department.
STICKERS FROM GRIEF-STRICKEN FANS
Such is the level of international mourning for the demise of the great detective that the said phone box has now become a place of pilgrimage for distraught fans from across the Globe who arrive here to pay their respects and to leave messages for Sherlock Holmes.
So this humble phone box that, five years ago, people would have passed and not paid a second glance to has no become the focus on international grief as fans from all over the World arrive here to pay their respects to the World’s greatest consulting detective.
The powers that be try desperately keep the box clean of the messages to Sherlock, Watson, Mycroft and Moriarty , but the fans simply won’t let them.
No sooner has one batch of post it notes and stickers been removed than more appear in their place.
And here are some of them from the last three years.