Researching the Streets of London: Goodge Street

For this project, I choose Goodge Street, a fairly long street, but with crossings located at Charlotte Street, Whitfield Street, and Tottenham Court Road. This street was featured in the Sherlock Holmes story The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. It is mentioned in the story twice, and its function in the story is that it is the place where two clues to solving the mystery were found, a black felt hat and a goose. Both items of which were left behind after a fight broke out between some thugs and a “tallish” man.

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According to the Charles Booth Online Archive, Goodge Street was a comfortable area. The colors on the key of the map indicated that during the time period of 1898-1899, it was mostly a middle class area. The colors that are indications of this included purple, “mixed some comfortable others poor,” and pink, “fairly comfortable Good ordinary earnings.” Looking at the British Histories website, I stumbled upon information about the houses on the street themselves. “The street is largely as originally built with houses, four storeys in height, on each side”, a sentence from Survey of London: volume 21: The parish of St Pancras part 3: Tottenham Court Road & neighbourhood. The houses were well built and made of stone and brick, adorned with “pleasant” door cases of lovely patterns.

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When using the Custom Search on the Old Bailey website, I skipped all of the other search boxes besides “Crime Location” in order to get the most general search for crimes that occurred at Goodge Street during the time period 1679 to 1772.

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Upon clicking “search” my screen filled with many crimes which occurred on Goodge Street, but all crimes fitting in the category of stealing. Which further indicates the state of the area during that time period, which is primarily comfortable middle class. Theft crimes are the most mild of the crime categories on the website.Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 3.46.01 PM

I had found it interesting that the use of this street in the Sherlock Holmes story was that it was a violent part of the story where a seemingly random fight broke out. Fights that break out between strangers and “a little knot of roughs” frequently happens more in dangerous areas, rather than this comfortable middle class Goodge Street.


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