Opening Times

The museum and theatre are open on the following days:

Saturday 25 February 10am-5pm

Saturday 25 March 10am – 1pm

Saturday 22 April 10am-5pm

Saturday 13 May 10am-5pm


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VE Day Kingston Surrey

Elspie Langdon Down

Painting in the Brilliant Images Exhibition at Kingston Museum

2 December 2016 to 18 February 2017

On 8 May 1945 flags and bunting decorated the streets. All Saints’ Church bells rang out and crowds gathered outside the Guildhall to listen to the East Surrey Regiment band. Kingstonians cheered Churchill’s victory speech as it was broadcast, then danced in celebration. Street parties were held throughout the borough.

See Elspie Langdon Down painting.


Exceptional & Extraordinary invited four artists to explore behind the scenes of eight of the UK’s renowned medical museums and – in collaboration with experts in medical history, disability and museums – to produce a series of thought-provoking new commissions that examine our attitudes towards difference with the aim of stimulating debate around the implications of a society that values some lives more than others.

Initiated and led by the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG), University of Leicester, Exceptional & Extraordinary was funded by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.

See Unruly Bodies



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.

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.


Museum & theatre next open: 10am-5pm Saturday 25 February


Talk: 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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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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