|Freud Museum Garden||Camden|
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.
The information shown above was correct at the time of the last update 01/09/2009
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Freud Museum, Front Garden, June 2006. Photo: S Williams
Click photo to enlarge.
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.'
The Freud Museum leaflet and website