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Conan Doyle home to become a school

It was once the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - famously the creator, of course, of Sherlock Holmes and other gripping stories of the day.

But Undershaw House, at Hindhead, in Surrey, where he wrote some of his finest works, has been vacant for ten years.

Now, though, it is about to take on a new role - as a school for children with disabilities and learning difficulties. Divya Kohli takes up the story.


Holmes house won't be re-developed

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived at Undershaw from 1897 to 1907 Credit: The Victorian Society

The company that owns the Victorian house in Surrey - where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles - has suffered a fresh setback in its legal battle to redevelop the historic property. Fossway Ltd wanted to divide grade II-listed Undershaw into eight separate homes.

In May the High Court ruled that the Fossway plan, which was approved by Waverley Borough Council, was legally flawed and must be quashed. The developer appealed. But Lord Justice Pitchford upheld the High Court ruling and refused Fossway permission to take the case to a full appeal hearing.

The building, at Hindhead crossroads near Haslemere, was built in 1897. Used as a hotel since the 1920s, it was left empty in 2005 and fell into disrepair. There was strong public support for preserving Undershaw, where the author completed 13 Sherlock Holmes stories from 1897 to 1907.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his first Sherlock Holmes whilst working as a GP in Southsea Credit: PA

The house that resurrected Sherlock

Campaigners fighting to save the home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle from being turned into flats will take their case to the High Court today.

In 2010, we visited Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's former home in Surrey. It was built as a retreat for him and his first wife, who was unwell. We spoke to his nephew, Richard Doyle and to Lynn Gale from the Undershaw Preservation Trust.

Fight to save Conan Doyle house

Undershaw Credit: Undershaw Preservation Trust

Plans for the development of a house where the man who created Sherlock Holmes once lived are the subject of a Judicial Review in the High Court later.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived at Undershaw, at Hindhead in Surrey, between 1897 and 1907.

The building became a hotel in the 1920s but has been empty for six years and has fallen into disrepair.