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Uncle Jeremy’s – Sherlock holmes link

Shop owner Martyn Sutton shares with us what Ingleton is best known for, some of the many reasons to visit the area, and uncovers fascinating connections between the famous author of Sherlock Holmes and the village of Ingleton.

The quaint village of Ingleton is famous for its beautiful waterfall walk, it’s tranquil location on the banks of the river Greta, the visitor caves that lie under Ingleborough, the miles of natural countryside, it’s open air heated swimming pool, one of the best children’s playgrounds in the North West…..as well as its fantastic collection of independent cafes, pubs and shops.

When shop owner Martyn Sutton moved with his wife from Nottinghamshire to Ingleton and opened up a shop, they named it ‘Uncle Jeremy’s Household’, but the shop is not run by an ‘Uncle Jeremy’ nor does it stock house hold goods.

The shop is nestled just off the main street at the end of a flower lined courtyard and stocks a range of beautiful toys and clothes for young children. While our two young girls browsed the shop we chatted to Martyn about why he had called his shop ‘Uncle Jeremy’s Household’. It turns out that the shop naming was due to facinating connections between the famous character Sherlock Holmes and the town of Ingleton.

When Sherlock Holmes author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his 1924 autobiography, ‘Memories and Adventures’, he neglected to mention that his mother lived in the hamlet of Masongill, near Thornton-in-Lonsdale, for almost 35 years. (See photo of her home – right) It also seems to have slipped his mind that he married his first wife Louise at St Oswald’s Parish Church, Thornton-in-Lonsdale in 1885. It’s likely that these were not oversights, but a deliberate airbrushing of family history which embarrassed him.

When Arthurs mother, Mary Doyle arrived in Masongill with her two youngest daughters in 1882/3, she claimed to be a widow. In fact her husband was alive for another 10 years, but Charles Altamont Doyle spent all of that time incarcerated in institutions, suffering from alcoholism and epilepsy. Conan Doyle spoke in glowing terms of his father, but was notably absent from the funeral.

By1885, Arthur had spent sufficient time at Mason gill to become familiar enough to write a short story based in and around Ingleton. ‘Uncle Jeremy’s Household’ which was not published until 1887, when it was serialised in Boy’s Own Paper. The main character, Hugh Lawrence was a young doctor from Baker Street, London, who arrived at Ingleton Railway Station to meet his chemist friend, JohnThurston. There are enough elements, including observation and deduction, for this story to be believed to have been the prototype for the Sherlock Holmes stories which followed.

Martyn named his Ingleton shop ‘Uncle Jeremy’s Household’ to raise the profile of this story and the connection with the famous author to the village, which he feels should be celebrated. He even holds a first edition of the 1887 Boy’s Own Paper Annual containing ‘Uncle Jeremy’s Household’ and stocks Uncle Jeremy Souvenirs too.

For children visiting Ingleton the shop is well known as THE place to visit after a walk, picnic or swim. Of course the children may also be pleased to hear that just opposite Uncle Jeremy’s Household there is a traditional sweet shop where you might just find every sweet you could ever imagine. What is sure, is that Ingleton makes a fantastic day out for both young and old, there is something for everyone.

See Uncle Jeremy’s Shop listing here

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