15th November, 3 Comments
By John Watson
One of the reasons that I started this series of writings was the threats against the continuing existence of Undershaw, once the home of my dear friend, Arthur Conan Doyle.
I wrote about the current state of the property and the appeal to save it from developers.
Undershaw is built on a 4 acre plot surrounded by National Trust land of outstanding beauty looking down onto the Nutcombe Valley with the South Downs in the distance (maybe as far as Holmes cottage?) The building is in a sad state, rain having poured in through the roof causing extensive damage.
The Undershaw Preservation Trust has been set up by Mr John Gibson, an expert on Sir Arthur, and he can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynn Gale has set up a blog to provide the latest on this desperate fight to save this once beautiful building.
Somewhat cynically, the current owners (Fossway Ltd) , aware of the heritage of the building have offered to include a visitor centre in its plans for the Grade II listed building. The developer, Michael Wilson, has suggested an open-sided pavilion where the public would be able to see views of Undershaw and would contain a display board about the history of the house and Sir Arthur.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of London has publicised the plight of Undershaw but Sir Arthur still gets less publicity than Holmes!