Has been a while since I've read 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' but a fascination with its main location is something which has always stuck in my mind, especially as I live quite close to Dartmoor. Last week I finally got round to visiting Grimspound again aka the inspiration for Holme's moorland hiding place in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous book.
One of Dartmoor's many ancient settlements Grimspound is a group of stone huts, or at least what remains of them, enclosed in a giant stone circle.
It's one of my favourite moments in the book where the great detective surprises Watson while he's puzzling over who's living in one of the stone huts in the enclosure. The following passage sees Watson describe Grimspound where the meeting takes place:
“The barren scene, the sense of loneliness, and the mystery and urgency of my task all struck a chill into my heart. The boy was nowhere to be seen. But down beneath me in a cleft of the hills there was a circle of the old stone huts, and in the middle of them there was one which retained sufficient roof to act as a screen against the weather.”
The locations were only based on real places so the geography when you go there is quite different to what it was in the book. If you look west from Grimspound you won't see the Grimpen Mire, or any mire for that matter, Baskerville hall, or a village.
However you will see a farm and the Warren House Inn in the distance. Also if you walk about a mile across the adjacent hill you'll come across an abandoned mining settlement.
What sherlock would actually have seen
One hut in particular stuck out as the one that Holmes had been living in, as it was the closest to the centre of the circle, but it lacked the roof to screen against the weather (as did all of them). Thankfully though the additional shelter wasn't needed as the weather was unusually awesome.
Mark is a freelance writer based in Devon specialising in gadgets, mobile technology and television. He mainly writes for other people but has two websites of his own, one is a blog about all things futuristic the other a children's poetry site.