‘He is so silly, he would rather have a half pence than a shilling’: discovering the history of learning disability | 14:00-15:00 Friday 31 January 2014. National Archives
This talk explores the fascinating and little-known world of the history of people with learning disabilities, known variously over time as idiots, imbeciles, defectives and mentally handicapped. Using court records, government files, parish records, prints, art and even jokes we can unearth a rich vein of often surprising information, back to medieval times. Simon Jarrett is a Wellcome Trust doctoral researcher at Birkbeck, University of London, working on ‘idiocy’ in the 18th century. He is the author of Disability in time and place, an English Heritage web resource, and is writing a book on the same subject. This talk forms part of The National Archives’ Diversity Week.
Normansfield Theatre Talk and Tour | 10am to 12 noon Saturday 8 February 2014
A one hour talk about Normansfield’s Grade II* listed Victorian theatre. The talk will discuss why it came to be built and its purpose in the daily life of the hospital. The fixtures and fittings will be examined in detail. There will be a guided walk around the theatre, stage and back rooms. Also on show will be a selection of restored Victorian flats depicting a variety of scenery. Light refreshments will be provided. Cost: £10 per person.
In the Footsteps of Dr John Langdon Down: A Walk Around Normansfield | 10am to 12noon Saturday 12 April 2014
This tour will begin with a talk about the development of Normansfield and its history through maps and photographs. The group will then set out for a walk around the original Normansfield site locating the position of lost buildings and finding those that remain. This 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 will be provided at the end of the walk. Cost: £10 per person.