Read the story of Chiswick House’s time as an asylum with blogs, images and a timeline.
The Liverpool School for the Indigent Blind was founded in 1791 by Edward Rushton and continues to run today as the Royal School for the Blind. It was the first such school in Britian and the second to be founded in the world. Rushton was a remarkable rights campaigner: apprenticed to a slave ship aged… Read more »
Normansfield Hospital was founded by John Langdon Down in 1868 as a home for people with learning disabilities and a place where they could be educated. ‘Downs Syndrome’ is named after him. The site includes a Victorian theatre with its original fittings, which Down commissioned so that his patients could learn music and drama. His… Read more »
The Royal School for Deaf Children was founded in 1792, the first public institution to provide a free education for this group. It opened a branch in Margate in 1876 and moved entirely from London to Margate in 1905, so pupils could benefit from the sea air. Sadly, the school went into administration in late… Read more »
The Guild of the Brave Poor Things opened a branch in 1894 in Bristol as a social club for people with disabilities. Guild members received a bright red membership card emblazoned with the logo – a crutch crossed with a sword – and the motto “Laetus Sorte Mea”, which translated from Latin as “happy in… Read more »
St Saviour’s Deaf Church is the only purpose-built church for deaf people ever to have been constructed. It features two pulpits, one for a preacher, the other for a sign language interpreter, and no pillars so that everyone can see what is happening. It was opened in 1925 for a congregation which had previously met… Read more »
Grove Road housing scheme was a groundbreaking development, opened in 1976 in Sutton-in-Ashfield, which enabled disabled people to live in society and not in an institution. When I first became disabled in the mid-1960s, the only prospects for people who needed help with their personal care were to be looked after by their families, to marry… Read more »