VISITOR NOTICE (19/03/2019): In line with government advice in relation to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden will be closed until further notice. For more information please see here.
From Gloucestershire in the 1790s to Somalia in the 1970s, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden traces the impact of one of the pivotal events in world history, in the place where it happened. This is the house where Edward Jenner, pioneer of vaccination against smallpox, lived and told the world about his work. Less than 200 years later, smallpox had been eradicated, with countless lives saved in the process.
In 1798, Edward Jenner published the results of his investigations into the use of a mild disease, cowpox, to protect against the feared virus smallpox. Jenner devoted the rest of his life to helping others to carry out the practice that he called ‘vaccination’, after the Latin vacca (cow). By the time of his death in 1823 vaccination was being practised around the world and in 1980 the World Health Assembly declared that smallpox had been eradicated: the first and only human disease to have been completely wiped out. More than this, Jenner’s achievements set a course for the development of further vaccines. Vaccination now averts an estimated 2-3 million deaths every single year.
Jenner is now most famous for his work on smallpox, however over the course of a remarkable life he made many other discoveries including observations of cuckoo nesting habits and bird migration, and early experiments with ballooning. He was also an accomplished poet and musician, a keen gardener and a country doctor. Today we celebrate all of this, and more, in the house Jenner loved and where he spent most of his adult life.
In line with government advice in relation to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Dr Jenner’s House, Museum and Garden will be closed until further notice. For more information please see here.