Forthcoming talks & tours

The History of Normansfield’s Buildings

11am -12.00pm Saturday 24 February 2018

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. Booking not required.


In the Footsteps of Dr John Langdon Down

A Walk Around Normansfield

11am – 1pm Saturday 31 March 2018

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. Booking required: Call: 0333 1212 300 or email: Lesley Alabaf.

Normansfield Theatre

10.30am – 12.00pm Saturday 5 May 2018

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. Booking required: Call: 0333 1212 300 or email: Lesley Alabaf.

Open House London  DSC00374

Open House London

Sunday 23 September 2018

Come and look around on your own or join a guided tour at 12.30, 1.30 or 2.30pm.

We are open to join this London-wide annual event with guided tours of the building. Cost: Free. Booking not required.