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The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, England
+44 20 7841 3600
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US$ 83.21*
and up
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The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery, and through a dynamic programme of exhibitions and events celebrates the ways in which artists of all disciplines have helped improve children’s lives for over 275 years. The Foundling Hospital, which continues today as the children’s charity Coram, was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Captain Thomas Coram, as ‘a hospital for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’. Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision were the artist William Hogarth, who encouraged leading artists of the day to donate work, and the composer George Frideric Handel, who gave annual benefit concerts of his Messiah. In doing so, they created London’s first public art gallery and their creative generosity set the template for the ways in which the arts can support philanthropy. The Foundling Museum celebrates their vision and continues their work by enabling artists, musicians and writers to work alongside vulnerable young people and cast new light on the histories we tell.
  • Excellent50%
  • Very good36%
  • Average10%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“thomas coram” (34 reviews)
“court room” (14 reviews)
All hours
Hours Today: Closed
Suggested Duration: 1-2 hours
40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, England
40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ, England
+44 20 7841 3600
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Reviews (370)
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1 - 10 of 360 reviews

Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

What a fascinating place! Every schoolchild should be brought here. It tells the story and vision of a fascinating and wonderful individual, Thomas Coram, who saw the need for a solution to a terrible social problem - abandoned infants. For 17 years he petitioned for...More

Thank Netsmith
Reviewed 3 days ago via mobile

Very helpful staff, a small museum but exceedingly interesting. The social history section I found particularly interesting, tracking the foundation and running of the Foundling Hospital. The part of Hogarth and Handel in the financing of the project. Cecily gave us insight into Hogarth’s part...More

Thank Den51_12
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I had never heard of this place until i read a novel called The Walworth Beauty by Michele Roberts. Visited today with friends. Staff helpful and friendly and museum well set out. Very interesting - especially liked seeing the tokens that were left with the...More

Thank Jules0601
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

On our way to this museum we passed museums with massive queues we arrived and went straight in greeted by very helpful staff . The museum has a very well laid out display and a very moving story to tell the . Well worth a...More

Thank simon w
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We initially wanted to visit the Foundling Hospital because we thought my husband’s grandfather had been one of the children who had been cared for in this home. However, on a records search we found that he did not spend time in this home. However,...More

Thank Diana15241
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

England’s first public art gallery and first hospital for abandoned babies was started by Tomas Coram in 1739. Coram, a successful sea captain, set up the hospital to care for orphans and babies whose mothers were too poor to look after them. Helped by his...More

Thank beehive36
Reviewed 26 November 2017

We came across this museum by accident, but we're glad we didn't pass it by. The experiences of the children (good and bad) are beautifully conveyed and some of the displays (the Elastoplasts and the medicine bottles) are simply magical. This is a quiet and...More

2  Thank brianchrystal
Reviewed 21 November 2017

Excellent museum with knowledgeable staff. Displays are very well presented although the lighting could be improved in some of the less delicate cases. Definitely opt for a guided tour as you will learn so much more.

1  Thank BloggerJR
Reviewed 17 November 2017 via mobile

We visited with 60 students and were welcomed very warmly by the staff who gave us a historical overview and helped with our luggage. The museum is really interesting and shows some sad and uplifting stories. Our students study Educational subjects and loved the museum.

Thank thamara42
Reviewed 13 November 2017

Long awaited wish to visit here. Helps if you know the history as the exhibits are fairly sparse and not much to view in terms if artefacts. However the spoken taped history from residents is incredibly informative and the collection of tokens left with the...More

Thank b00sun
Snuggly nestled within Central London is academic and
leafy Bloomsbury, an area that boasts walking distance
access to many of London's most popular attractions.
It is also home to some of Britain's most celebrated
museums, including the must-see British Museum.
Despite an understandable popularity with students,
tourists and day trippers, vast sections of Bloomsbury
retain a quiet, residential feel year round and
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Questions & Answers
Liz H
11 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 12 answers
Response from Simon J | Reviewed this property |
We had spent about an hour and a half inside. Moving and worth every penny.
21 August 2015|
AnswerShow all 6 answers
Response from Jooles2 | Reviewed this property |
Yes, information about Coram himself. I don't recall much about his family. It focuses on the foundlings. Well worth a visit. Beautifully presented and with a very nice cafe for a snack!
Iain M
4 June 2015|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from teenager65 | Reviewed this property |
Adults £8.25 (including voluntary Gift Aid donation of 75p) Concessions £5.50 (including voluntary Gift Aid donation of 50p) Children (up to sixteen years), Art Fund members and Foundling Friends visit FREE