The real 221B Baker Street

The house with its seventeen steps that Dr. Watson called "221B Baker Street" was in fact officially known as "30 York Place", but York Place was a short street joining Baker Street and Upper Baker Street, later relabeled. (York Place ran from Paddington Street/Crawford Street north to Marylebone Road.) There were and are lots of other York this-n-thats on the London map, so "York Place" without specifying "Baker Street" would have been hopelessly ambiguous. The modern (post-1930) number is 111 Baker Street.

Holmes's house was definitively identified by one Dr. Gray Chandler Briggs, based on his chance discovery around 1930 of a building actually bearing the plaque "Camden House", which we are told in "The Adventure of the Empty House" stands directly across from Holmes's building.

(Doyle claimed this was a total coincidence, and said he had not been in Baker Street for at least thirty years -- but from the Holmesian point of view, the identification is far too satisfying to give up.)

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