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Undershaw - Don't forget

In a little less than three months the Judicial Review on the future of Undershaw will take place at the High Court. I thought therefore it would be a good idea to provide some background in the form of a FAQ.


1. What is Undershaw?

Undershaw is the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He lived in it from 1897 – 1907 when he moved to Crowborough to live with his second wife.

Undershaw in the 1890s


2. What is going to happen to it?

After it was sold by Conan Doyle it became a hotel. This hotel operated until 2004 at which point it closed down. It was bought by a developer who has secured planning permission to convert the house into a number of town houses and build additional houses on the site. It is this permission that the Judicial Review may affect.

3. Why is it important?

Undershaw is the only house that Arthur Conan Doyle helped to design. It was also the site of many important acts in British literary history. Parts of The Hound of the Baskervilles were written in it. Sherlock Holmes was officially resurrected within its walls and it was the site of the creation of many of Conan Doyle’s non-Holmes work. He lived at Undershaw when he was knighted in 1902 and his first wife Louise died in the house in 1906.

Undershaw in 2012


If the proposed development goes ahead it will irreversibly damage the building and much of its internal layout will be changed.



The Judicial Review will be held on May 23rd 2012. Spread the word, keep this cause in the public eye.


A more detailed post on Undershaw can be found here

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