The Baker Street Babes has always and will continue to be staunch supporters of The Undershaw Preservation Trust, an organization dedicated to saving and preserving the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Once a grand home designed specifically by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Undershaw is now in ruins, neglected by the Waverly Borough Council who now wants to chop it up into separate homes, destroying everything that was beautiful about this home.
From The Undershaw Preservation Trust’s website:
Here he wrote ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’ and entertained many notable people, including Bram Stoker, the author of ‘Dracula’, J M Barrie, the creator of ‘Peter Pan’, and the young Virginia Woolf.
Today, Undershaw stands sorrowfully empty, neglected and vandalised, Waverley Borough Council having granted the owners planning permission to carve up the literary, historic house into three flats, with five more homes built on its side. Modern town houses ….or maintained as the single dwelling that Conan Doyle designed and had built? The Undershaw Preservation Trust is vigorously working towards the latter.
The UPT’s principal desire is to save Undershaw. As far as we are concerned this means preserving the building as a single structure and not allowing it to be carved up into separate residences by its present owners. It is this that is the aim in the short-term and it is one we are confident that you all support.
In the event that the building is saved the next question becomes what should be done with it. In an ideal world we would like to see the house become a publicly accessible attraction fitting for the regeneration of Hindhead. There are various options for the form this could take and we are not set on any one option in particular.
However, we believe that, in the current economic climate, such a scheme is unlikely to be successful and in view of that we feel that the best route to preserving the building as a single structure (and ensuring its future) is to see it preserved in the form of a residential dwelling, in the Victorian style, as it was for Conan Doyle himself. As part of any such scheme we would work for public access to be made available by arrangement with the new owners whoever they may be.
A few of us were invited to go out to Hindhead and talk about the UPT’s future with their Judicial Review hearing in May coming ever closer. As the London Ambassador for UPT, Curly/Kristina was amongst these and snapped a few photos of the building, still beautiful in its own way.
Support for UPT is through telling people about it. What is happening to this historic building of a man who created character we love so much is beyond disgraceful.