This video tells the story of Normansfield Hospital which was dedicated to the care of people with the genetic disorder known as Down's Syndrome. The hospital was founded by Dr John Langdon Down and his wife Mary in 1868 and remained in family operation for three generations until the 102-year connection ended in 1970. The care in the Community Policy first introduced by the 1959 Mental Care Act eventually led to the closure of Normansfield with the last patient leaving in 1997. The original s now stand at the heart of Langdon Park residential development of almost 500 properties.
Probably the most down-to-earth yet intractable problem facing the communities in the Lower Thames Valley and their local government institutions in the second half of the nineteenth century was simply this: how to deal with the human waste generated by an ever-growing population?
How did such an unprepossessing issue come to force itself centre-stage in the attention of so many worthy and capable local politicians? Why did it leave them struggling to find solutions for so many years? And how was it eventually resolved?