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Speculation on the location
of Sherlock Holmes'
Sussex retirement home.

Hopefully this page will explain the chain of events leading to these pages following my solicitation for speculation on the location of Sherlock Holmes's retirement home on the original Mary Russell mailing list (Russ-L mailing list) back about 2000.

  1. Jim Byrd responded with a deduction based on passages in The Beekeeper's Apprentice that were well thought out and complete. They were put onto a web page and are the first of the two pages that follow this page.
    (Page the first: "Initial Speculation on Sussex Downs Russell/Holmes Locations"
  2. Jim Byrd threw a monkey wrench into his own deductions upon discovering a passage in A Letter of Mary which reads: "We took our glasses and walked over the hills to the sea...".  Earlier in the book Holmes and Mary take a short break: "We walked along the cliffs rather than descending the precipitous beach path..."  Both passages, especially the first which alludes to a twelve mile hike with a woman on a tight schedule and with a bad leg,  indicate that Jim's original placement of Holmes' cottage near Chiddingly, some 6 miles from the sea, would be in error.
  3. Jackie Buckrop, a subscriber to the Russ-l mailing list who dislikes ambiguity, suggested clues might be gleaned from the Holmes Canon, especially "The Adventure of the Lion's Mane", which takes place in Holmes' retirement in Sussex.
  4. Jim Byrd reluctantly dug out his Annotated Sherlock Holmes and discovered that the search for Holmes' retirement cottage has a history which includes the likes of Christopher Morley tromping the Downs of Sussex looking for fictional cottages. Those passages he kindly typed out and sent on with a map.
    (See page the second: " Further Speculation on the location of Sherlock Holmes' Cottage"

The results so far:

  • A rather precise location area for Mary Russell's farm detailed in the "Initial Speculation..."
  • A conclusion that there is a fundamental difference between Arthur Conan Doyle's location of Holmes' cottage and Laurie King's location of Holmes' cottage. Unless, of course, someone can find fault with Jim's original deductions based on the Monk's Tun incident.