Scotland Yard in Sherlock Holmes Stories

Scotland Yard has been known as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police in London since 1829 (Scotland Yard).

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The area is mentioned in several Sherlock Holmes stories in relation to crimes and other characters — in particular, Inspector Lestrade.  Holmes corresponds with Lestrade in multiple stories.  Lestrade is another admirer and observer of Sherlock Holmes, and is the legal action behind Holmes’ detective work, like in “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box” (Doyle).  Lestrade calls upon Holmes to help him with an investigation, Sherlock assists, and the criminal is put behind bars.

Due to the prominence of Inspector Lestrade, and also Sherlock’s line of work, Scotland Yard is mentioned fairly often in the stories.  In real life, Scotland Yard is illustrated on the Charles Booth Online Archive as a poor area in a primarily poor district of the city (Booth).  Interestingly, if Lestrade had been working on the Police Force in the year 1874, he would have been one of 275 inspectors, and thousands of other men on the force (Scotland Yard) throughout the districts that year.  Scotland Yard also included departments not associated with the Police Force like the Prisoners’ Property Office and the office for cab and omnibus licences.  While Sherlock did not work for the Police Force of Scotland Yard, the station did appear in several of Sherlock’s investigations.

Works Cited

“Booth Poverty Map (Charles Booth Online Archive).” Booth Poverty Map (Charles Booth Online Archive). N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2014. <,179819,1,large,0&gt;.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. “The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.” The Project Gutenberg. David Brannan, 23 Oct. 2008. Web. 22 Nov. 2014. <>.

“London – OS Town Plan 1893-6.” London – OS Town Plan 1893-6. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2014. <;.

Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police’, Old and New London: Volume 3 (1878), pp. 329-337. URL: Yard. 9 Nov. 2014.


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