Down’s syndrome museum launching Spring programme

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February 18, 2016 by dontbringlulubook

The home of Down’s syndrome in South West London will be the site of a new programme to explain its history.

Normansfield hospital in Teddington offered care of Down’s syndrome patients from 1868.

The condition was formally attributed to Dr Down in the 1960’s by the World Health Organisation but it is only in recent times that the real story of John Langdon Down has been told.

Visitors to what is now called the Langdon Down Museum  are able to explore different aspects of the story surrounding Dr Down – one of the events concentrated on the Grade II listed theatre.

Normansfield hospital theatre with actress

In the early history of the Normansfield hospital from 1869, nurses employed there had to sing or dance as well as their medical training and the whole community put on performances to occupy themselves through the winter evenings. Now the theatre is open to the public – the above shot shows a performance about the music hall artist Marie Lloyd.

The rare, Victorian theatre has a remarkable collection of original hand painted scenery. It has no equal anywhere else in Britain and is extraordinarily complete with more than eighty flats, eighteen borders, five painted cloths and many individual pieces.

Normansfield theatre 3

The theatre has received more than eighty-five thousand pounds from the Heritage Lottery Fund which will be used for a digital archive. It also means the precious ‘flats ‘ or scenery can be protected against damp and flooding.

Normansfield hospital theatre

The next visit is on the 19th of March and there’s more information at:

The Langdon Down Centre is on Facebook at Museum on Twitter at

People who want to the part in the visits should book ahead by phoning 0333 1212 300 or email



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