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Undershaw saved! * 28 March 2014


After a series of legal battles spanning many years, Undershaw - the former home of Sherlock Holmes' creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - has secured a bright future at last.

Thanks to the DFN Charitable Foundation, the house will form part of a brand new school, in combination with the existing Stepping Stones school in Hindhead, Surrey. Stepping Stones is an independent special school dedicated to the education of pupils with mild learning and physical difficulties, and with the acquisition of Undershaw the school will become 'The Schools at Undershaw'. Undershaw will play host to the upper school, while the existing Stepping Stones building will become the junior school.

Undershaw is a Grade II listed building which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle drafted the initial designs for himself, with construction completing in 1897. The property was where the author effectively resurrected Sherlock Holmes from his death at the Falls of the Reichenbach, writing 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' and then the stories collected together as 'The Return of Sherlock Holmes'. Since 1920 the building has been used as a hotel, but in the past decade fell into disrepair. The Undershaw Preservation Trust, with Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss as patron, was thus set up to safeguard the property from development proposals that included an attempt to partly demolish the building so it could be transformed into residential flats - a decision overturned at the High Court in London in May 2012.   

Sherlockology has followed the campaign to save this important building since our creation, and so we extend our warmest congratulations to the team at the Undershaw Preservation Trust for this excellent news that not only safeguards the property but also gives it a bright and productive future in the lives of young people for generations to come.