A Visit To The Sherlock Holmes Exhibition at the Museum of London

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Us at the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of LondonI had wanted to visit the Sherlock Holmes exhibition at the Museum of London ever since it opened – I have read loads of the books and am obsessed with Sherlock on BBC! Mum and I visited it on Sunday, and were not disappointed.

The exhibition is full of drafts, magazines, films, pictures from London during the time of Holmes and props from the BBC TV show, including the coat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the Reichenbach Falls at the end of series two. I thought that this was really cool, and something I definitely would not have expected to see.

Benedict Cumberbatch's coat as seen at the Sherlock Exhibition at the Museum of London
Benedict Cumberbatch’s coat

We learnt lots from the exhibition – I hadn’t known that A Study In Scarlet, the first Holmes book, was originally published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. However, it was only when the stories were printed in the Strand Magazine that they became well known. Copies of the magazines were on display, and they were wonderful.

A large portion of the exhibition is what life was like during the times Holmes existed, and what the places he visited would have looked like. Therefore, walls were covered with photographs and paintings of these times. Although many of these were fascinating, I felt that there were rather too many, and the sheer amount of them was slightly overwhelming.

My favourite part of the exhibition was seeing a film of Arthur Conan Doyle talking in a filmed interview from 1927. He talked about the take off of the Holmes books, describing them as a “monstrous growth from a comparatively small seed”. His voice was incredible – a strange mixture of English and Scottish – and I was amazed that I had the chance to listen to it.

Mum and I also saw lots of manuscripts, photographs, typewriters, forensic kits, maps, and books throughout the rooms. We got to see Conan Doyle’s actual handwriting and a postcard that he sent to his son, which I thought was brilliant.

Poster for the Sherlock Exhibition at the Museum of LondonSomething we also really enjoyed was the room at the end of the exhibition, which is full of props and costumes from film and TV adaptations of Holmes. As I said before, a major highlight was a coat worn by Benedict Cumberbatch, but there was also loads more, including the “wall of rats” from a Sherlock episode.

Overall, mum and I really enjoyed our visit to the Sherlock Exhibit at the Museum of London, however we felt the fixation of life in Sherlock’s time was too great. We spent a good hour and a half going round the rooms and I would recommend it to any Holmes fan out there.

Sherlock Holmes: the man who never lived and will never die is on at the Museum of London until April 12 2015. Tickets cost: Adult £12.55 (£11.45 without donation) Child/Concession* £10.45 (£9.45 without donation)
Flexible family tickets, £9.95 (child) / £10.05 (adult) per person (£8.95 child/adult without donation). Children under 12 go free.

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15 Responses

  1. Beautiful idea to create an exhibition for “the man who never lived and will never die”. Truth be told Sherlock Holmes lived in the hearts and minds of those who enjoyed reading Conan Doyle’s novels and will continue to live there for as long as they will remember his famous hat and pipe. Must have been an interesting experience. Thanks for linking-up your post. It was a good read.

  2. What a fun exhibition to see! Really good to know it’s on till April, we will definitely go visit!

  3. This looks like a very interesting exhibition, especially for fans of the books or TV series. I’ve not seen it on TV yet, must get around to that.

  4. What a cool exhibition, my friends who are all Sherlock Holmes fans would definitely be interested. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  5. […] If your children are too old for Paddington (does that ever happen?) they might prefer an alternative fictional literary character. There’s a Sherlock Holmes exhibition on at the Museum of London until April 2015. Jess from the Family Travel Times blog visited with her mum, you can read her review here. […]

  6. Nice review Jess. I love Sherlock on BBC too. Did you know you can see the cafe and front door of 221b they use on the show just by Euston station? Ask your mum to take you. 😉 We love the Museum of London too – loads of great stuff in there

    • Thank you! I really want to go and see the house, and will hopefully visit it soon. The exhibition was fantastic, and you should really visit if you like the show.

  7. Ooooh! We need to go. x

  8. We LOVE Sherlock in our house. We’d really like that exhibition. Thanks for letting us know about it. V interesting.

  9. This sounds like a great day out for mystery- and Sherlock-lovers. Thanks for the review!

  10. pavilla2@yahoo.com question I am from Chicago, wondering is there any annual events in London which celebrate Sherlock Holmes and Watts?
    Would love to know. Thanks

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