Talks and Tours

Talks and Tours leaflet 2017

Download a copy of our talks and tours leaflet:  Museum Talks And Tours Leaflet 2017

Our talks and tours explore the history and work of Dr John Langdon Down and his home at Normansfield where he brought an enlightened and revolutionary approach to the care of people with learning disabilities.

All talks take place at the Langdon Down Museum unless otherwise stated.

External Talks: We can deliver talks at other locations such as schools, colleges, universities and museums.

Booking:

  • Participants must book a place in advance (excluding Open House weekend)
  • Call: 0333 1212 300
  • Email: Lesley Alabaf. lesley.alabaf@downs-syndrome.org.uk

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In the Footsteps of Dr John Langdon Down

A Walk Around Normansfield

Saturday 22 April | 10.30am – 12.30pm

A talk using maps, architectural drawings and photographs to trace the development of the site. This is followed by a walk around the original Normansfield site locating the position of lost buildings and finding those that remain. The one hour walk is mostly along pavements but will also include some rough paths and grassed areas. The total distance is about one mile.

Light refreshments. Cost: £10.

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James Henry Pullen

The Genius of Earlswood Asylum

Saturday 13 May | 11.00am – 12.00pm

A talk about the life of James Henry Pullen, (1835-1916), a resident of the Royal Earlswood Asylum near Redhill. In his lifetime he was said to have the condition of savant syndrome though today he may have been diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Condition. Pullen created model ships including Brunel’s Great Eastern and the warship, Princess Alexandra. Also on display are his pictorial autobiography, imaginary ships, paintings and models along with a short film about his life. Cost: Free.

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Dr John Langdon Down and Normansfield

Saturday 10 June | 11am – 12.00pm

A talk about the life and work of Dr John Langdon Down and his institution at Normansfield which brought a revolutionary and enlightened approach to the care of those with learning disabilities. Includes the history of Normansfield from 1868 until its closure as an NHS hospital in 1997. Cost: Free

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Normansfield Theatre

Saturday 8 July | 11am – 12.30pm

A talk on the history of Normansfield’s Grade II* listed Victorian theatre that opened in 1879 and is a venue today for drama, concerts and opera. Your visit includes a walk around the theatre and back rooms. On view will be part of the scenery store of restored original Victorian side flats. Using our interactive touch screen catalogue you can view the 150 items of scenery stored in the building that include beautiful backcloths, side flats, top borders and props. Light refreshments. Cost: £10.

Great Names in the Social History of Learning Disability

Saturday 29 July | 11am – 12.00pm

A talk about some of the great names in the social history of learning disability, from the early 19th Century to the present day. Those who brought improvements to the education, training, care and rights of those with learning disabilities. Cost: Free.

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Open House London

Sunday 17 September | 12 – 4pm Tours: 12.30, 1.30 and 2.30pm

We are open to join this London-wide annual event with guided tours of the building. Cost: Free. No booking required.

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Normansfield’s Buildings and Trees

Saturday 14 October | 11am – 12.30pm

A talk and walk around the grounds to see the wide variety of trees, many planted when Dr John Langdon Down came first came here in 1868, and that are still thriving today. 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. Cost: Free.

Normansfield Theatre

Saturday 18 November | 11am – 12.30pm

A talk on the history of Normansfield’s Grade II* listed Victorian theatre that opened in 1879 and is a venue today for drama, concerts and opera. Your visit includes a walk around the theatre and back rooms. On view will be part of the scenery store of restored original Victorian side flats. Using our interactive touch screen catalogue you can view the 150 items of scenery stored in the building that include beautiful backcloths, side flats, top borders and props. Light refreshments. Cost: £10.