Normansfield Hospital entertainment hall in Kingston Road
Normansfield Hospital entertainment hall in Kingston Road
Record No
Normansfield Hospital entertainment hall in Kingston Road
Normansfield Hospital in Kingston Road, Teddington, was established by the pioneering Victorian physician Dr John Langdon Down (after whom Down Syndrome was named) and his wife Mary for the long-term residential care of patients with learning disabilities. In addition to woodwork and farming, patients also learned music and drama and this magnificent private theatre, designed by Rowland Plumbe, was built in the north wing in 1877. The hospital building was Grade II* listed in 1983; listing number 1065379, but the theatre/ entertainment hall is of a higher grade owing to its national importance as a rare example of a private Victorian theatre. Now beautifully restored and part of the Langdon Down Centre, it holds the largest collection of fully restored Victorian scenery in the UK. Its floral paintings are attributed to the artist Marianne North. In addition to some of the theatre's ornate detail, this picture shows an impressive display of floral wreaths, and lecterns can be seen on stage. It is uncertain what occasion the wreaths are commemorating; Dr Down died ten years before the photograph was allegedly taken, and Mary in 1901. Their ashes were subsequently brought together to the theatre for a final funeral service, but it unlikely to have happened in 1906.
Date of execution
London Metropolitan Archives
LCC Photograph Library
Catalogue No
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