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The Hound of the Baskervilles

by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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What is Baskerville Hall in The Hound of the Baskervilles?

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Baskerville Hall is the classic gothic spooky old house.  It is mysterious, desolate, isolated, very old, and lonely.

Baskerville Hall is located on the Moorland in Southern England.  It was built in the 18th century.  Since the house is in the country, there are few neighbors.  Holmes describes the hamlet of Grimpen as a “small clump of buildings” (p. 20).  There are very few houses within a five mile radius of the Hall. It is in a very historic area of England.  Holmes even hides out in ancient huts.

The house is old and large.  It is surrounded by woods, but there is a Yew Alley adjacent to it.  When Watson first sees the hall, he describes it like this.

Suddenly we looked down into a cup-like depression, patched with stunted oaks and firs which had been twisted and bent by the fury of years of storm. Two high, narrow towers rose over the trees. (p. 42)

The Hall is guarded by lodge gates which Watson describes as “a maze of fantastic tracery in wrought iron, with weather-bitten pillars on either side, blotched with lichens, and surmounted by the boars’ heads of the Baskervilles” (p. 42).

The description of the house is charged with gothic elements.  The house is old, dull, and covered in ivy.  It is a “heavy block of building” with towers and chimneys.  Inside is somewhat better, because there is a friendly fire in a large stone fireplace.  However, the house is still gloomy with dark wood paneling, old stained glass, animal heads, a coat of arms, and not much light (p. 43).

Baskerville Hall leaves a “grim and grey impression” (p. 45) on Watson.  The gothic elements reinforce the idea of mystery and add suspense and Watson and Holmes try to solve the murder.

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Baskerville Hall is the ancestral home of the Baskerville family. The place is an impressive manor located in Devonshire, England. although a ficticious location, the reader can safely assume that Baskerville Hall was awarded to one of Charles and Henry's ancestors by a grateful monarch. Property was often given to successful defenders of the monarch. The knighthood, in this case, the title, "Sir," goes with the property.

The Hall is described as large and gloomy. It is on the edge of a moor, which would give it a dark, dank atmosphere. Picture a spooky old mansion, stuck out in the middle of a creepy swamp.

The titled land owner would also hold the deeds of adjoining property. This is how the Stapletons, who live across the moor, are connected to the story. Sir Charles was their lkandlord. When he is killed, the property and all the rentals, are passed down to Henry.

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