Museum & Theatre Open Days

10am-5pm on Saturdays:

20 October (theatre open from 11.30am)

3 November, 9 February, 16 March


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.

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

Next events


Talk and walk: The Landscape of Normansfield

11.00am – 12.30pm Saturday 20 October 2018

A 1½ hour talk and walk around the grounds to see the landscape of Normansfield including the wide variety of trees, many planted when Dr John Langdon Down came first came here in 1868. He planted extensively to create a rich landscape at his new institution for those with learning disabilities. His view being that the outside environment of trees, shrubs, paths and seating was essential in offering residents the benefit of healthy walks and fresh air. The site includes long avenues of trees planted in the Victorian period.

Free talk and walk. Booking not required. Donations welcome.

See Talks and Tours

European Historic Theatres Day & Normansfield Theatre

7pm to 8.30pm Thursday 25 October 2018

A talk about Normansfield Theatre and the European Route of Historic Theatres and Perspectiv – the Association of Historic Theatres in Europe.

The talk will be followed by a tour around the theatre including a viewing of the historic scenery collection.

Using our interactive touch screen you can view the catalogue of 150 items of scenery in storage that include beautiful backcloths, side flats, top borders and props. The visit will also show a short film about a recent project to re-photograph the scenery collection.

Free talk and tour. Booking not required. Donations welcome.





Research project: The Staff who worked at Normansfield, 1868 – 1997

Research conducted by members of the University of the Third Age (U3A) from September 2017 to April 2018.

This project researched a series of life stories of staff who worked at Normansfield. Staff duties were very wide-ranging and included chaplains, governesses, medical/care staff, farm workers, maintenance staff and teachers.

Employment at Normansfield or do you have the attributes to be employed at Normansfield?

The Laundry and Linen

Frances Mary Palling, Governess

Early Chaplains at Normansfield

Staff and the First World War

William Henry Briggs: Engineer, Furnace Stoker and Stationary Engineer

Normansfield Theatre and the staff

Memories of Normansfield, Summer 1977




  The Normansfield Bills

An article by local historian Ken Howe


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