AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area


Identity Statement

Reference code(s): H29
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
  Click here to find out how to view this collection at ›
Date(s): 1853-1983
Level of description: Collection
View subfonds/series records
Extent: 37.7 linear metres
Name of creator(s): Normansfield Hospital


Administrative/Biographical history:

Normansfield was founded in May 1868 by Dr John Haydon Langdon-Down and his wife, Mary, as a private home for the mentally handicapped, especially for the children of the upper classes whom they sought to educate and train to the full extent of their capabilities. The hospital opened in a recently built house in extensive grounds in Kingston Road, Teddington, close to Hampton Wick. By the end of the year 19 patients were in residence.

Under the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, the main building became a certified house. The North Wing accommodated male patients while the South Wing was for women and children. Conifers and Trematon became approved homes, Conifers for higher grade women and Trematon for higher grade men. Education, occupational therapy, therapeutic work on the farm and in the kitchen garden and daily exercise in the hospital grounds was provided for the patients. Annual visits to the south coast were arranged for almost all the patients up to the Second World War.

The problems of maintaining a private establishment after the War and with the advent of the National Health Service proved overwhelming. Negotiations to sell the hospital to the Government resulted in the transfer of Normansfield to the North West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board on 22 June 1951. The hospital came under the immediate control of Staines Group Hospital Management Committee. As a result of the 1974 reorganisation of the National Health Service Normansfield was managed from 1 April 1974 by Kingston and Richmond Area Health Authority and the South West Thames Regional Health Authority. By 1993 Normansfield Hospital had become part of the Richmond Twickenham and Roehampton Healthcare NHS Trust. The Hospital closed in 2000 and the site has since been redeveloped.

Saint John's Hill Workhouse was in use from the formation of Wandsworth and Clapham Poor Law Union in 1836. In 1870 an infirmary was constructed on an adjoining site. In the 1880's Wandsworth Board of Guardians built a new workhouse in Swaffield Road. From the opening of Swaffield Road Workhouse, all the buildings on the Saint John's Hill site were used as part of the infirmary. Saint John's Hill Infirmary was superseded as a general hospital by Saint James' Hospital, Balham, which was opened by Wandsworth Board of Guardians in 1911. From that date Saint John's was used mainly for the care of the chronic sick. In 1948 Saint John's Hospital became part of the National Health Service. It was administered by Battersea and Putney Group Hospital Management Committee and the South West Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. On 1 July 1964 the Battersea and Putney Group Hospital management Committee amalgamated with Tooting Bec Hospital Management Committee.

From 1 April 1972 to 31 March 1974 Saint John's Hospital formed part of the Westminster Hospital Group. As a result of the 1974 reorganisations of the National Health Service Saint John's became part of the Roehampton Health District of Merton, Sutton and Wandsworth Area Health Authority (Teaching). Between 1977 and 1978 Saint John's Day Hospital and Chest Clinic were built on the site. In 1982 Saint John's Hospital became the responsibility of Richmond, Twickenham and Roehampton Health Authority. In 1988, by then known as Saint John's Health Care Unit, it was transferred to Wandsworth Health Authority. The Hospital closed in 1990.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Normansfield Hospital, 1853-1983 and Saint John's Hospital, Battersea, 1872-1987. Papers include correspondence, articles of association, prospectuses, patient records including admissions and discharge registers, staff records, financial records, papers relating to the Normansfield Enquiry, 1970-1977, photographs, histories, newspaper cuttings, minutes, reports, plans and papers regarding pupil nurses.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

In 2 sections: H29/NF: Normansfield Hospital and H29/SJ: Saint John's Hospital, Battersea.

Conditions governing access:

These records are available for public inspection, although records containing personal information are subject to access restrictions under the UK Data Protection Act, 1998.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright Depositor

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Received in 5 accessions between 1983 and 1998. ACC/1916, ACC/2081, ACC/2286, ACC/2741, B98/078

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2009

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Corporate Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"

Related Placename Search

* To search for other records with similar placenames, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"