Conference Centre and Functions
Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability
Tickets for all events can now be purchased online. Details of how to book are on each event.
Welcome to the Langdon Down Centre
Heritage Lottery Fund grant for Normansfield Theatre
The Down’s Syndrome Association (DSA) has received £85,100 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its exciting project: ‘Normansfield – Protecting a Theatrical Past’.
The HLF’s grant means that vital building works can begin to protect the rare, Victorian Grade II* listed theatre and its remarkable collection of original, hand painted scenery. The scenery, which has no equal anywhere else in Britain, is extraordinarily complete with more than 80 flats, 18 borders, 5 painted cloths and many individual pieces.
The funding will also allow the creation of a fully catalogued, digital archive of the Victorian scenery to create a ‘virtual theatre’ which will be available at the centre and on-line. The ‘virtual theatre’ will enable a schools’ and further education programme to explore this important collection. It will also be accessible to members of the public to learn more about the fascinating life of this beautiful theatre.
The theatre was built in 1879 by Dr John Langdon Down as part of Normansfield which was started as a home for people with learning disabilities in 1868. Normansfield (now the Langdon Down Centre) is widely regarded as the ‘spiritual home’ of Down’s Syndrome. This is a rare and beautiful example of a late Victorian, private theatre which is considered to be of great architectural and historic importance. The stage still contains the original working flaps and is one of only two working theatres with this in place today. The scenery was expertly cleaned and conserved in 2002/2003 and this HLF funding will ensure that the conditions in which the scenery is stored are not at risk of flooding and damp.
Carol Boys, the Chief Executive of the DSA (owners of the Normansfield Theatre) says:
“We are delighted to have received the support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. This award will ensure that our Victorian scenery is further protected and will be accessed by the public digitally and through our educational programme”.
Stuart Hobley, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London says:
“Thanks to National Lottery players, this unique collection of theatrical scenery can be saved from deterioration. The new digital archive will allow even more people to discover and cherish the history of Victorian Normansfield and its theatre.”
The Langdon Down Centre is the theatre wing of the old Normansfield Hospital. The centre houses Normansfield Theatre, a Grade II* listed Victorian Theatre, the Langdon Down Museum, the national office of the Down’s Syndrome Association and Down Syndrome International.
The Langdon Down Centre is home to the Down’s Syndrome Association and is open everyday for classes, drama groups and as the offices of the DSA. The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability and the Normansfield Theatre are open to the public on a Saturday morning from 10am – 1pm. (The theatre is a working theatre, used by drama groups, etc and it may not always be open if pre-booked for an activity).
Normansfield Theatre hosts an events programme with a broad range of activities. Operas, charity musical concerts, choirs and drama productions have taken place this year, and our programme for 2016 is listed in Forthcoming Events. The theatre is also hired regularly for musical recitals, orchestral groups and other drama groups. For theatre events see forthcoming events. Most theatre tickets booked in advance receive a 20% discount voucher to the La Cloche restaurant at the Lion Restaurant (www.laclochepub.com) – for details check individual performances.
Normansfield Theatre is a participant in Visit Theatres. Its website, visittheatres.org is a user-friendly guide to theatres’ tours in Great Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium with information on tours and theatre buildings’ history and architecture. Visit Theatres is part of the European Route of Historic Theatres project supported by the Culture Programme of the European Union. We hold 4 theatre tours a year where guests are able to view a selection of our Victorian scenery pieces. http://www.visittheatres.org/theatre-tours
The Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability at Normansfield Teddington, was the home and institution developed by the Victorian physician Dr John Langdon Down and his family, where a revolutionary and enlightened approach was developed for the care of people with learning disabilities. The museum includes exhibitions on the Langdon Down family, Normansfield, the Royal Earlswood Asylum and James Henry Pullen.
Those with a professional interest or carrying out research into the history of Normansfield are welcome to visit, by appointment, to access the archive. Private group visits can be arranged which will include a talk, tour and refreshments. Please contact the Langdon Down Centre Manager or Archivist on 0333 1212 300 to arrange a group visit.
The Down’s Syndrome Association is the only organisation in this country focusing solely on all aspects of living successfully with Down’s syndrome. It provides support, information and advocacy to parents and professionals working with people with Down’s syndrome.
Down Syndrome International (DSI) is a UK based international charity, comprising a membership of individuals and organsations from all over the world, committed to ensuring the quality of life and human rights of all people with Down’s syndrome.
Room hire: various rooms available for hire. The theatre and conference rooms can be hired for meetings, conferences and private functions. Please contact the Langdon Down Centre Manager, on 0333 1212 300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in hiring any facilities or hosting a production in the Normansfield Theatre.
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Click the link below to download forthcoming events.
Normansfield Theatre Tour
Saturday 21 May 2016
Tickets: £10 including refreshments
Take a guided tour through our Grade II* listed Victorian Theatre. Guests can view selected pieces of original scenery as well as view our extensive digital catalogue of all our Victorian Scenery. You can also create your own scene using our new Virtual Theatre touchscreen.
Tickets are available from 0333 1212 300 or online under forthcoming events.