Opening Times

The museum & theatre are closed until Saturday 4 February 2017. 2017 opening hours: Saturdays 10am – 1pm February to November. Closed over Easter and for occasional events.



The old orchard at Normansfield in the Autumn light November 2016.



An Exhibition with and about People with Down’s Syndrome 29 October 2016 to 12 March 2017. Bonn Germany.


Disability and Language

Looking at the language used to describe disabled people, the language disabled use to express themselves. This includes literature, history, oral history and coverage in the newspapers and other print media.

History of Place logo 2

The History of Place delivery team are looking for volunteers with enquiring minds. You could help us with a ground-breaking national project which will celebrate the lives of deaf & disabled people through history. Come and join our Volunteer Research and Archive Group, carry out research in local and private archives as part of this Heritage Lottery Funded project. Your discoveries will be shared through our website, films, games and exhibitions at M Shed, Museum of Liverpool and the V&A. We welcome applications from deaf and disabled people. For details see here.

What our visitors say

What a revelation! Super!!

Very informative visit and good to hear about the enlightened work of Dr John Langdon Down and that his legacy has a home

Very thought provoking. Historically important

What a fantastic experience – I will be back with more visitors

Excellent exhibition and I have learnt so much

An invaluable glimpse into an admirable institution.

Really interesting exhibits and the theatre is amazing

As a distant relative of James Henry Pullen this was absolutely fascinating.

I learned of the museum from the Great British Railway Journeys … Wonderful day, thanks.

Very interesting and inspiring

Delightful, so much to see and think about. Thank you!

Normansfield – Protecting a Theatrical Past

The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) has received £85,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its exciting project: ‘Normansfield – Protecting a Theatrical Past’.  The HLF’s grant means that vital building works can begin to protect the rare, Victorian Grade II* listed theatre and its remarkable collection of original, hand painted scenery.  The scenery, which has no equal anywhere else in Britain, is extraordinarily complete with more than 80 flats, 18 borders, 5 painted cloths and many individual pieces. Read full story here.


Next talk in 2017


The History of Normansfield’s Buildings

Saturday 25 February 2017 | 11am – 12pm

A talk about the development of the buildings at Normansfield from 1868 until 2016 using maps, architectural drawings and photographs.

Normansfield was the home and institution developed by the famous Victorian physician Dr John Langdon Down and his family where a revolutionary and enlightened approach was developed for the care, education and training of people with learning disabilities.

When he arrived in 1868 he bought the White House and over the coming years extended the building. The theatre John and Mary Langdon Down created has been restored and is still in use today with a large Victorian scenery collection.

On the 42 acre site, they set up a farm and workshops with a boat house on the Thames. In 1951 Normansfield became an NHS hospital with new residential buildings including a school, arts centre and hydrotherapy pool. Since its closure in 1997 much of the site has been converted to housing and part of the original building is now home to the Down’s Syndrome Association.

The talk includes new research carried out through a recent U3A project.

Cost: Free.

See Talks and Tours

Talks and Tours leaflet 2017

Download a copy of our talks and tours leaflet here.

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Activities for children banner

You can download our children’s trail here or pick up a free copy in the museum

Childrens trail A4 download

Childrens trail

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