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Thread: Normansfield Hospital, Kingston - April 2010

  1. #1
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    Arrow Normansfield Hospital, Kingston - April 2010


    History;

    In 1868 John Langdon Down set up his own private home for the "Mentally Subnormal" at Normansfield in Kingston to supply a need for residential training and care for the disabled of the upper classes. Normansfield was a place where people with learning disabilities could be cared for and educated at a time when most of them would have been condemned to life in an asylum.

    Children of bankers, doctors and clergymen rubbed shoulders with the children of senior army officers and heirs to titles and estates. Children from these classes were often hidden away in the servants’ quarters and given no chance of a normal life.

    Langdon Down identified a specific group of patients whose oriental characteristics he described as Mongolian in character. Nobody had identified this special group and over the next 20 years the designation "Mongolian Idiot" or ‘Imbecile of the Mongoloid type’ came into use.

    In 1961 at the request of the People's Republic of Mongolia, the World Health Organisation adopted the recommendation and in 1965 Down's syndrome was then to become a universally accepted descriptive term.

    Langdon Down died on October 7th 1896. When Mary Langdon Down died in 1901 their ashes were placed together on the stage of the adjoining theatre for their final funeral service.

    The theatre, which they built, is today a listed building and it stands as a permanent memorial to their work.
    The auditorium and theatre has recently been restored and can be seen by CLICKING ME

    Normansfield was closed in 1997 and this once ornate and beautiful building has lain derelict, unloved and decaying ever since.



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    2. Dr. John Langdon Down of Normansfield


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    4. Basement stairs.


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    6. If visiting, I recommend using this concrete staircase.


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    9. The service was appalling.


    10. Kitchen


    11. Beside the clock tower. The gap in the railings shows the escape route the bell took. :(


    12. New meets old, this was supporting the attic.


    13. Attic.


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    19. What's that secret your keeping?


    20. Clock tower (No sign of the bell :()


    21. The three clock faces.


    22. Clock mechanism


    23. Looking up into the tower.
    Silence is golden but duck tape is silver.

  2. Thanks given by: acen2006, Anthillmob74, Curlyben, danholt, Faing, godzilla73, Jondoe_264, Kent-urbex, klempner69, mr_bones, the harvester, tom46, urban-miff
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  4. #2
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    Lovely pics Professor. Can you PM me some details on this, as it is just up the road from me and I would love to visit. Thanks
    GDZ
    "You never planned on the bombs in the sand/Or sleeping in your dress blues."

  5. Thanks given by: professor frink
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    Quote Originally Posted by professor frink View Post

    13. Attic.

    rmansfield/IMG_8922.jpg[/IMG]
    THAT'S BEEN BATTERED OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS THEN!

    I can't find the back-up of my pics from here so the only one I can find for direct comparison is this loft pic, taken end of 2006.



    I guess they abandoned renovations then. When I visited back then the place was a hive of activity, builders and the like. A real shame, it's a beautiful building, very elegant.

    JD

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    This is great, nice pictures and a really interesting story. John Down is actually buried at the churchyard next to Leybourne Grange, if anyone is interested.

    :)

  9. Thanks given by: professor frink
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    Great report Professor, shame this place has been left unsecured for so long - can't believe the amount of graffiti since my last visit.
    Too Much Reasoning Kills Inspiration, Stone Dead

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_bones View Post
    Great report Professor, shame this place has been left unsecured for so long - can't believe the amount of graffiti since my last visit.
    doesnt time fly, remember when we did this !!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixie View Post
    doesnt time fly, remember when we did this !!
    December 31st 2006!
    Too Much Reasoning Kills Inspiration, Stone Dead

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    hey, good photos, we were going to go here the other day but weren't sure whether to or not, shame about all the really poor graffiti, ruins a nice building!

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    Dear professor frink,

    I'm currently planning a proposal to apply for various grants and other funding to acquire the old Normansfield Hospital site and reinstate it to something resembling its former purpose.

    I was wondering if it would be possible for me to use your photographs to support the applications, as evidence of the building's dereliction?

    If you could contact me to discuss this further, that would be fantastic.

  18. Thanks given by: professor frink
  19. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by salar15 View Post
    Dear professor frink,

    I'm currently planning a proposal to apply for various grants and other funding to acquire the old Normansfield Hospital site and reinstate it to something resembling its former purpose.

    I was wondering if it would be possible for me to use your photographs to support the applications, as evidence of the building's dereliction?

    If you could contact me to discuss this further, that would be fantastic.

    Yes, you're more than welcome to use my images as evidence to support your applications.

    Good luck saving the old girl, it appears the current owner wants it to fall into such a terrible state that eventually the only option would be total demolition.

    P.S. All I want in return is a wing named after Derelict Places. :p
    Silence is golden but duck tape is silver.

  20. Thanks given by: mr_bones, salar15, sqwasher
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DerelictPlaces is a forum for people with an interest in the history and documentation of disused, derelict and abandoned buildings to come together and share their experiences, photography and historical findings. Our military, industrial and historical heritage is fast disappearing under the pressure of regeneration, the need for new housing, and often through simple neglect; Our aim is to document these places before they disappear entirely.
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