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“Interesting but disappointing.”

The Foundling Museum
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London Pass Including Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour and Entry to Over 60 Attractions
Ranked #209 of 1,718 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: 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.
Useful Information: Stroller parking, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed December 9, 2012

As a retired Adoption social worker I was very interested in visiting, but was very disappointed. The ground floor has interesting recorded tales from a few adults who were cared for via the foundling society. Artifacts and some hustorical records were on show, but were not easily read. I felt a typed translation beside them would have been helpful.
There was no written guide to the building, the history and no one around to tell you details or ask questions of when on the higher floors.
The second floor seemed to focus on music, all classical and a great deal of art, which was mostly portraits of people whom I did not recognise or understand their relevance to the place.
It had a terribly middle class/upper class feel to it which takes the focus awa\y from the real interest...the children, their mothers and their lives.

2  Thank Tiamariarosie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 - 335 of 361 reviews

Reviewed November 5, 2012

Small museum detailing how the Foundling Hospital cared for hundreds of children left in their care. The regime was tough but children in their care stood a better chance of survival into adulthood. The recorded stories of individuals were really informative. The Dickens/ Handel connections were also interesting.

2  Thank Traveller5847
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 5, 2012

The museum is quite small but you still need quite a lot of time to hear everything. It's quite shocking how recent some of the survivors account are. This is a very special little hidden gem.

Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

Mr Coram was a remarkable man and the museum is definitely an excellent memorial. The records are fascinating and all the artefacts are beautfully presented. The Foundling Hospital was an inspirational institution and the museum reflects the fact,

1  Thank gillrun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2012

This is an excellent museum in an attractive building that should really be better known. The history of the foundlings who lived there is very moving and well presented. There are also links with a number of famous people who interested themselves in the hospital's work, including Hogarth, Handel and Dickens and interesting small exhibitions, attractive furniture and pictures to see too. Not to mention a nice cafe. The staff, many of whom are volunteers are welcoming and knowledgable which all adds to the experience. Go and see it.

2  Thank kmtYorkshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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