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Freud Museum Garden Camden

Summary

Sigmund Freud and his family came to London as refugees from the Nazis in 1938, and moved to 20 Maresfield Gardens on 27 September where Freud lived until his death in September 1939. He spent much of his last summer here. After his death, his wife, sister-in-law, housekeeper and youngest daughter Anna Freud, herself a leading psychoanalyst, continued to live here. After Anna's death in 1982 it was then turned into the Freud Museum, which opened to the public in 1986. The Conservatory at the back of the house overlooks the garden, which with its lawn, trees, flower and shrub beds is preserved much as it was in the 1930s. An almond tree in the front garden was immortalised by Stephen Spender in his poem 'Almond Tree in a Bombed City', written during WWII.

Basic Details

Site location:
20 Maresfield Gardens

Postcode:
NW3 5SX ( Google Map)

Type of site:
Private Garden

Date(s):
1930s

Designer(s):

Listed structures:
LBII: 20 Maresfield Gardens

Borough:
Camden

Site ownership:
Freud Museum

Site management:
Freud Museum

Open to public?
Yes

Opening times:
Museum: 12 - 5pm, Wed-Sun. Garden only open during fine weather.Has taken part in Open Garden Squares Weekend in the past.

Special conditions:
Admission charge

Facilities:
Museum, shop, research centre and archive (by appointment only)

Events:
Exhibitions, events and education programme. Has opened for OGSW

Public transport:
London Overground: Finchley Road and Frognal. Tube: Finchley Road (Jubilee, Metropolitan). Bus: 13, 82, 113

The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2009
Please check with the site owner or manager for latest news. www.freud.org.uk

Further Information

Grid ref:
TQ264849

Size in hectares:

Green Flag:
No

On EH National Register :
No

EH grade:
None

Site on EH Heritage at Risk list:
No

Registered common or village green on Commons Registration Act 1965:
No

Protected under London Squares Preservation Act 1931:
No

Local Authority Data

The information below is taken from the relevant Local Authority's planning legislation, which was correct at the time of research but may have been amended in the interim. Please check with the Local Authority for latest planning information.

On Local List:
Yes

In Conservation Area:
Yes

Conservation Area name:
Belsize Park?

Tree Preservation Order:
No

Nature Conservation Area:
No

Green Belt:
No

Metropolitan Open Land:
No

Special Policy Area:

Other LA designation:
None

Freud Museum Garden

Freud Museum, Front Garden, June 2006. Photo: S Williams

Click photo to enlarge.

Fuller information

Sigmund Freud came to London as a refugee from the Nazis, who had publicly burned works by Freud and other psychoanalysts in 1933. Freud and his family did not leave their home in Vienna until 1938, after Austria was annexed by Germany. They arrived in London in June and initially rented a house in Elsworthy Road before moving on 27 September 1938 to 20 Maresfield Gardens, a handsome early C20th red-brick house. The working environment of his house in Vienna was recreated here by his son Ernst, an architect, and housekeeper Paula Fichtl, and he continued to work and see patients despite his age and health. He lived here until his death in September 1939, spending much of his last summer here. After his death, his wife Martha, sister-in-law Minna Bernays, housekeeper Paula Fichtl, youngest daughter Anna Freud, herself a leading psychoanalyst and later Dorothy Burlingham, her friend and fellow analyst, continued to live at the house, which remained occupied until Anna's death in 1982.

In accordance with her wishes it was then turned into a museum, which opened to the public in 1986 and contains the collections of books, antiquities, paintings and other possessions, including his analytic couch, that Freud brought from Vienna. The Conservatory at the back of the house overlooks the back garden, which has hardly changed since the 1930s, preserved by gardener Alex Bento who has worked here since Anna Freud's final years. The front garden, which has won awards, had an almond tree that has been immortalised by Stephen Spender in his poem 'Almond Tree in a Bombed City':

'In the burned city, I see

The almond flower, as though

With great cathedral-fall

Barbarian rage set free/

The angel of a fresco

From a cloister wall.'

Sources consulted:

The Freud Museum leaflet and website

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