Museum & Theatre Opening Days
Open once a month February to November.
Next open days from 10am – 5pm on Saturdays
24 February | 31 March
A Partridge in a Pear Tree in the Theatre
A Victorian Christmas at Normansfield
Christmas was a special time. All the residents, apart from those on leave or ill, dined on Christmas Day with the attendants and nurses and some of the younger members of the Langdon Down family in attendance. There was a tradition of Christmas celebrations at which every resident received a personal gift from Dr and Mrs Langdon Down and this became firmly rooted. There was a Christmas tree, entertainment and dancing.
A Normansfield Hospital Christmas Card, late 20th Century
The Staff of Normansfield 1868 – 1997
4rd Shared Learning Project with the U3A 2017
Researching the staff who worked at Normansfield between 1868 and 1997. Staff duties at Normansfield were very wide-ranging according to the period of time and have covered medical/care staff, farm workers, maintenance staff and teachers.
Results from this project will appear on this website in 2018.
For past U3A projects see here.
Museum Talk: The History of Normansfield’s Buildings
11am Saturday 24 February 2018
A one hour 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. Booking not required.
See Talks and Tours
You can download our children’s trail here or pick up a free copy in the museum