Village that may have inspired Conan Doyle

A bright blue sky blazes above Ruyton XI Towns, between Shrewsbury and Oswestry.

Village that may have inspired Conan Doyle

The village acquired its name when a castle was built here in the 12th century, making it the focus of 11 townships.

Today, all that remains of the castle is a small stone keep in the churchyard.

Ruyton is perhaps better-known as the former home of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of fictional detective Sherlock Holmes.

The author lived at Cliffe House for a short time when he was a medical student, working as an unpaid assistant to the local doctor.

He was a keen footballer and cricketer and may well have joined in village sporting activities.

Conan Doyle later described Ruyton as “not big enough to make one town, far less eleven”.

It is thought that he may have gained inspiration for some of the characters in his later stories while living and working in the village.

Published by Shropshire and Beyond on