Undershaw’s future has finally been resolved after years of dereliction and threat of unsympathetic development. I am delighted to hear that the new owners are actually an independent school called Stepping Stones which specialises in educating children with special needs, including autism.
The character of Sherlock Holmes is regarded by many as having autistic tendencies and reading of his adventures has been an inspiration to those who share some of these traits. So this seems like a very favourable outcome which will bring new life to the building Doyle lovingly created.
Stepping Stones want to see how the legacy and history of Undershaw can serve the children and I think this is a wonderful way to honour the memory of Doyle and his most famous creation. Their curriculum has a strong emphasis on creativity so I’m sure the new surroundings will provide much inspiration – just as they did for Doyle.
All this would not be happening if it hadn’t been for the fantastic work done by the Undershaw Preservation Trust. They fought to rescue Undershaw from its previous owner who wanted to destroy most of the building and turn it into flats and separate houses. The Save Undershaw campaign captured the hearts and imagination of Sherlock Holmes fans all over the world who actively helped fight to save this wonderful historic building.
Stepping Stones have released this lovely video all about themselves and their plans for Undershaw – I personally feel that it demonstrates their respect for the building’s history and opens a very exciting new chapter in its life.