Relief: Infants Hospital - baby 1
Site: Infants Hospital (6 memorials)
SW1, Udall Street
The two be-wreathed babies are on the building on the south-east side of the street, which was the 1914 nurses home; the others on the, photographed, north-west side. The arch at the left of our photo contains a nicely foliated cartouche "The Infants Hospital". Since the hospital closed in 1995 this building and the nurses home have been converted into flats.
These swaddled babies have their inspiration in work by Della Robbia. His bambini were installed on the Ospedale degli Innocenti (Hospital of the Innocents) in 1487 in Florence and the image of a swaddled baby has since become a symbol of paediatrics.
We can't get over the impression that these babies are semaphoring to each other, possibly asking when the sack race starts.
Note: Udall Street was known as Alfred Street until probably about 1930-40.
2019: We found another of these babies - at "130 Poplar High Street, built as a Roman Catholic Settlement of the Holy Child at No. 130(–132). This demure block was built, primarily as a youth club, in 1955–6, to designs by Adrian Gilbert Scott (1882–1963)" Text from British History Online. Photograph.