Tottenham Court Road in Holmes’ London

Tottenham court road

I decided to examine the area of Tottenham Court Road which was mentioned in Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle. In this adventure, Holmes’ acquaintance Peterson witnesses a group of men attacking a man named James Ryder, all this unfolds on the notorious Tottenham Court Road of London.

I found that the most useful source for examining this area was the British History Online. Searching my subject, i was given many scholarly sources, of which I picked an excerpt from an encyclopedia on metropolitan history from 1878. The piece was part of the Northern Tributaries section, and I discovered that Tottenham was once one of the most fashionable districts in all of London. However at the time of this piece’s publication there was no longer royalty in Tottenham, but rather it was bound by poverty and the lower class. There were still handsome squares and private mansions but it explained that the “poverty is almost hopeless.”

I furthered this perception of Tottenham through Old Bailey Online. This lower class area was home to a lot of crime during the Victorian era. In the scope of this archive, there were 3666 mentions of this area in court proceedings, so basically two percent of all of the recorded crimes in London took place in, or have some connection with Tottenham Court road.

The least useful source for this project was Charles Booth Online Archive. This platform was not user friendly to the slightest extent, so I was not able to find any knowledge about Tottenham Court road.


Works Cited:

Old Bailey Online. 2003. Accessed November 9, 2014.

Tottenham Court Road‘, Old and New London: Volume 4 (1878), pp. 467-480. URL: Court Road Date accessed: 10 November 2014.


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