Tuke of Chiswick

chiswick house

Between 1892 and 1928, Chiswick House was a private asylum, run by the Tuke family, who rented the house from the Duke of Devonshire. Francesca visits to find out more.

Langdon Down Museum of Learning Disability

Men and women in Victorian dress on a frozen lake, alongside a building with a wooden balconyLan

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

painting of turreted red building

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 »

Guild of the Brave Poor Things

Guild of the Brave Poor Things

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 »

The ‘Skeleton 19’ Mystery

Jo Gray Archive Room Dover Castle

A visit to the English Heritage archaeological store at Dover Castle, where curator Jo Gray shows Francesca Skeleton 19, which gives evidence linking the site to Deaf and disability history.