follow our recent discoveries
The politics of disability: from 6th century China to the Industrial Revolution
Anna Fairley attends a talk by Roddy Slorach, who argues that whether you are ‘disabled’ depends on the society surrounding you.
No drinking, brawling or blasphemy
Some of the rules imposed on those using almshouses were common sense, others seem draconian to us now, but places were limited, and people who were accepted probably felt very lucky.
Liberation architecture: Maggie Davis and the birth of independent living
Ken and Maggie Davis were told it was impossible for them to live anywhere except in an institution. But 40 years ago today, they moved into the home they designed themselves. It marked the beginning of the Independent Living Movement.
An epidemic of ‘sleepy sickness’ swept through the US and Europe between 1916 – 27, immortalised by Oliver Sacks’ ‘Awakenings’. Some survivors attended the Guild in Bristol, with a variety of post-encephalitic symptoms. Grace Morgan-Tait investigates.
Explore the places
- Liverpool School for the Indigent Blind, Liverpool
The first place in the country to offer a home and training for blind people.
- Grove Road Housing Scheme, Sutton-in-Ashfield
Making a break for it: institutionalisation is no longer inevitable for disabled people.
- Guild of the Brave Poor Things, Bristol
Unfortunate name, genuine early empowerment for disabled people in Bristol.
- St Saviours Deaf Church, Acton
The only purpose-built church for deaf people ever to have been constructed.
- Chiswick House, London
New asylum models offering care, not fear and punishment.
- Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability, Teddington
The theatrical life for people with learning disabilities.
- The Royal School for Deaf Children, Margate
Education and sea air at Margate.
- Maison Dieu, Faversham
When almshouses were England's NHS.
Uncover moments in history…
About History of Place
The History of Place project explores eight locations across England which tell the story of deaf and disabled people from the medieval period to the present. We are working until 2018 with a team of volunteers who are developing skills as they search for material that has been buried in archives for hundreds of years.
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