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).