2018 Museum & Theatre Open Days

10am – 5pm on Saturdays: 28 July, 25 August, 20 October, 3 November

Open House London 12.00 – 5pm Sunday 23 September

Normansfield Exhibition now at Hampton Wick Library

An exhibition about Normansfield’s history from 1868 to the present day organised by the Friends of Hampton Wick Library.

Hampton Wick Library

Bennet Close, Hampton Wick, KT1 4AT

Tuesday 19 June – Sunday 28 October | Watts Gallery

James Henry Pullen: Inmate – Inventor – Genius explores the life and imagination of James Henry Pullen (1835 – 1916), examining the creative escapism of an outsider artist who during his own lifetime attracted royal attention. Dubbed by Victorian journalists as ‘the genius of Earlswood Asylum’ Pullen saw his fantastical works escape the confines of the asylums, where he was incarcerated continuously for nearly 70 years, to travel to international exhibitions.

Bringing together newly restored works – and drawing on new research – this exhibition will shine a light on Pullen’s life and work to offer a new perspective on an artist of wit and inventiveness who has been largely forgotten. It will also examine the broader context in which Pullen was working – the world of nineteenth-century science, technology and psychiatry.

See reviews: The Guardian  The Victorian Web The Spectator

  Without Walls

Disability and Innovation in Building Design

This exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London includes two photographs from the Langdon Down Museum.

Other images in the exhibition include original architectural drawings of the main building and boathouse by Rowland Plumbe.

Exhibition at the V&A on now until 21 October 2018. Rooms 128a & 127.

Open day events on Saturday 28 July

The Residents of Normansfield

11.00am – 12.00pm Saturday 28 July 2018

The stories of the residents who lived in Normansfield from 1868 when it first opened, to the closure of the institution as an NHS hospital in 1997. Developed by Dr John Langdon Down and his wife Mary it was run for 102 years by the Langdon Down family. Residents with learning disabilities who lived in the institution were offered a revolutionary and enlightened approach to their care. They received a special education as well as a training in horticulture and carpentry. They enjoyed a home from home, with holidays, sports, entertainments and church services in the theatre. Some lived in Normansfield for a few years while for others it was a life-long home.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.


A Local History Talk

The Life of John Charles Buckmaster

1819 – 1908

The Father of Teddington Library

2pm – 3pm Saturday 28 July 2018

A talk by local historian Ken Howe about the extraordinary life and work of John Charles Buckmaster, a formidable public speaker and activist. He was a teacher with a strong sense of public duty, a Justice of the Peace and a councillor. In later life he founded Teddington library as a free library in 1904. Ken will present his research the life of this fascinating local resident.

Speaker: Ken Howe is a historian and author/co-author of several local history books including: Hampton and Teddington Past, Edwardian Teddington and Twickenham, Teddington and Hampton – Britain in Old PhotographsHe is Chairman of the Borough of Twickenham Local History Society. One of Ken’s recent projects was to research and write the book The Bronze Age Barrow at Teddington and in 2017 to help set up a council sign to commemorate the site in Sandy Lane, Teddington.

Free talk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

See Talks and Tours

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

  The Normansfield Bills

An article by local historian Ken Howe

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