FREUD, Anna (1895-1982) & FREUD, Sigmund (1856-1939)
Plaque erected in 2002 by English Heritage at 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead, London NW3 5SX, London Borough of Camden
SIGMUND FREUD 1856-1939 Founder of Psychoanalysis lived here 1938-1939
Replaced LCC plaque of 1956. Museum open to the public. Plaque to Anna Freud also at this address.
The psychiatrist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, is honoured with a blue plaque at 20 Maresfield Gardens in Hampstead, where he spent the last year of his life. The house also bears a plaque to his daughter, the pioneer of child psychoanalysis, Anna Freud.
FROM VIENNA TO LONDON
Freud, who came from a Galician Jewish family, arrived in London in June 1938 following Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria – a move facilitated by his dedicated disciple, Ernest Jones. After spending a short period in a flat at 39 Elsworthy Road in Primrose Hill, he and his family moved in September to 20 Maresfield Gardens, a spacious brick-built house.
While living at Maresfield Gardens Freud finished his final works, ‘Moses and Monotheism’ and ‘An Outline of Psychoanalysis’, while continuing to see his patients. By 1939 Freud knew that his 16-year struggle with cancer was coming to an end, writing to his friend Arnold Zweig: ‘I am only waiting for “Moses”, which is due to appear in March, and then I need not be interested in any book of mine again until my next reincarnation.’ As his health dwindled he was confined to his study, where a bed was set up for him. It was here that he died on 23 September 1939.
20 MARESFIELD GARDENS
Freud’s letters reveal his obvious delight with the house, which he referred to as ‘our last address on this planet’ and claimed that it was ‘far too beautiful for us’. Famous visitors to Maresfield Gardens included Princess Marie Bonaparte, HG Wells, Leonard and Virginia Woolf and psychoanalysts such as Hermann Nunberg and Ernest Jones.
Freud brought much furniture from his Vienna consulting room, including a remarkable collection of antiquities and his renowned couch. What had been a relatively ordinary detached house was thereby transformed into what, since its opening in 1986, has become one of London’s most intriguing historic house museums. Freud’s study is preserved as it was in his lifetime.
A plaque to Freud was unveiled by his daughter Anna on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1956. However, its condition had deteriorated to such a degree that it was replaced in 2002, at the same time as Anna’s own plaque was unveiled.