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  • Reason for inclusion:  The site of Mordecai Smith’s boat yard

    Accessibility: Exterior accessible at any time

    Description: An embankment with No 8 (Lambeth Fire Station) and The Corniche Tower on opposite sides of Black Prince Road which met the Thames at this point at ‘The Prince’s Stairs’ which no longer remain.


    T. B. Wheeler stated Mordecai Smith’s boatyard was located at the Prince’s Stairs. Holmes and Watson found the spot by hiring a tracker dog called Toby who followed a trail of creosote left by Small and Togo all the way from Pondicherry Lodge. The route took Holmes and Watson, starting at 3am, across South London with a diversion off Wandsworth Road at Nine Elms Lane where Toby picked up a stronger scent. By retracing their steps Toby picked up the original scent and took Holmes and Watson to Mordecai Smith’s boat yard. Holmes and Watson found from Mrs Smith that a man matching Small’s description had hired the steam launch Aurora, which was crewed by Mordecai Smith and her eldest son, and that they had disappeared. Holmes and Watson then took the wherry across the river to the other side near Millbank Penitentiary.

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