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  • Reason for inclusion: This building was one of a number in Cockspur Street that were the headquarters of major shipping lines. In the story Holmes and Watson visit the shipping office of the Adelaide-Southampton line “which stands at the end of Pall Mall”. There were no shipping line offices in Pall Mall itself, but Cockspur Street joins it.

    Accessibility: Not accessible as now luxury private apartments

    Description: The façade of the building displays the name Oceanic House and was the headquarters of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company better known as the White Star Line immortalised because of the loss of RMS Titanic in 1912.

    Comments: Construction on the building began in 1903 so a substantial part of it would have been completed by the time the story was published. Holmes states to Watson that their first point of call will be to the largest shipping line that undertakes the route. By the time of the story, the White Star Line was Britain’s largest shipping company and, although renowned for its transatlantic voyages, had from 1897 been offering a passenger service from Liverpool-Cape Town-Sydney calling at Adelaide and Melbourne. Lady Brackenstall originally came from Adelaide. Admittedly Watson refers to her voyage as being in 1896 but there are many inconsistencies in his accounts.

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