Solved! Mystery of Sherlock Holmes in Winchester

Press Release: 06/11/2013

Unveiling of new plaque at Black Swan Buildings

Winchester’s little-known connection with Sherlock Holmes has been marked with a new plaque.

The former Black Swan Hotel on the corner of Southgate Street and the High Street was visited by Sir Arthur Conan’s Doyle’s famous sleuth and his partner Dr Watson in The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

Now some keen detective work by local historian Chris Webb has uncovered the connection and Winchester City Council has marked the location with a steel plaque.

The Black Swan Hotel stood on the site from the 19th century until 1935 when it was demolished and replaced by Black Swan Buildings. A replica black swan also marks the building.

Cllr Rob Humby, Deputy Leader of Winchester City Council, whose portfolio includes the economy, arts and tourism, said:

People are often fascinated to discover and visit Winchester locations that feature in fiction so I expect this plaque to add another destination on the trail that already features the likes of Jane Austen and the poet John Keats.

The £200 polished steel plaque, which was funded by Winchester City Council, reads: The black swan above you is a replica of one which once adorned the Black Swan Hotel that stood on this site from the 19th century until 1935 when the hotel was demolished and replaced by Black Swan Buildings. The Black Swan Hotel was ‘visited’ by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Copper Beeches.

The plaque was unveiled on 22 October 2013.