Where does the story in "The Adventure of the Speckled Band " take place?
The story begins in early April, 1883 at the home of Sherlock Holmes, which is located on Baker Street in London, England. Watson recalls Sherlock waking him up at 7:15 a.m. to listen to a woman in distress ask him for protection. The woman is Helen Stoner, who lives with her stepfather, Dr. Roylott, at Stoke Manor on the western border of Surrey, which is located in southeast England.
Stoke Manor is a dilapidated estate on a few acres of land, where Helen and the doctor live in a two-hundred-year-old house that is under construction. The house is a grey building with a high central portion and two curving wings on both sides. The left wing is described as being a "picture of ruin" with boarded up windows and a caved in roof. The central portion of the home is in better condition, while the right wing is completely modern and is where the family resides. Dr. Roylott had spent a considerable time in India and brought back several exotic animals, which roam the premises of the estate.
Most of the action takes place in Helen's bedroom, which is adjacent to her stepfather's room. Dr. Roylott attempts to murder Helen by training a poisonous snake to travel through the ventilator from his room into his stepdaughter's room to bite her. The setting is a rather ominous, foreboding location in the middle of the country, which enhances the sense of mystery and isolation throughout the story.
The story begins, of course, in London at the Holmes's residence, but the principal action takes place in Surrey at the Roylott manor of Stoke Moran. Once part of a lavish estate, it has become whittled down to little more than the manor house. The house itself is in bad shape, being two hundred years old. However, Dr. Roylott still resides there with his stepdaughters and a wild menagerie of animals. Only one wing of the house is now inhabited by Dr. Roylott and his stepdaughtes (their mother having died two years before).