Just a little note - two years ago today, we set up a little Twitter account named Sherlockology, which has grown into something that completely eclipses any expectations we may have had on May 11 2011.
So on what is effectively our second Birthday, we just wanted to say a big thank you to you and the hundreds of thousands of others who follow us on our social media accounts and on our website!
Now, we’re off to celebrate with lunch at Speedy’s Cafe! Thanks everyone!
Out of many waterfalls in the Bernese Oberland, the Reichenbach Falls seems to have made the greatest impression on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, who was shown them on a Swiss holiday by his host Sir Henry Lunn, the founder of Lunn Poly. Sir Henry’s grandson, Peter Lunn, recalled, “My grandfather said ‘Push him over the Reichenbach Falls’ and Conan Doyle hadn’t heard of them, so he showed them to him.” So impressed was Doyle that he decided to let his hero die there.
The actual ledge from which Moriarty and Holmes apparently fell is on the other side of the falls to the funicular; it is accessible by climbing the path to the top of the falls, crossing the bridge and following the trail down the hill. The ledge is marked by a plaque as illustrated here; the English inscription reads: “At this fearful place, Sherlock Holmes vanquished Professor Moriarty, on 4 May 1891.”
The pathway on which the duel between Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty occurs ends some hundred metres away from the falls. When Doyle viewed the falls, the path ended very close to the falls, close enough to touch it, yet over the hundred years after his visit, the pathway has become unsafe and slowly eroded away, and the falls have receded further back into the gorge.
The actual date of the ‘death’ of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC Series is a little harder to pin down. We made an attempt to find the date of Sherlock’s fall from the top of St Bart’s Hospital in this article last year.