Building    From 1739  To 1920

Foundling Hospital

Categories: Children, Social Welfare

England's first home for abandoned children. Established in 1739 by Captain Thomas Coram.

From the Museum's Friends Update: "On the afternoon of Wednesday 25 March {1741}, the coat of arms designed by William Hogarth was hung above the entrance to the Hospital's temporary residence in Hatton Garden. The Governors' had given public notice that:  "...on Wednesday, the 25th March, at 8 o clock at night, and from that time till the House should be full, their House will be opened for the reception of Children"  That evening the first 30 babies were admitted..."

A purpose-built 'hospital' (orphanage) in Bloomsbury was begun in 1742 and finished in October 1745.  The eastern wing for the girls was added in 1752. 

In the 1920s the children were moved to the healthier countryside, first to an old convent in Redhill, and then in 1935 to the new purpose-built Foundling Hospital in Berkhamsted. In the 1950s orphanages were largely done away with and the Foundling Hospital ceased most of its operations. The Berkhamsted buildings are now used by Ashlyns School.

The Bloomsbury buildings were demolished shortly after 1926 and the site is now occupied by Coram's Fields. The charitable work is continued by Thomas Coram Foundation for Children in buildings just to the north of the Fields.

The Governors included Handel and Hogarth

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
Foundling Hospital

Commemorated atInformation

Coram's Fields

These grounds, the site of the Foundling Hospital, established in 1739 by Cap...

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Coram's fountain

The lamb relief is also carved on the rim of the fountain.

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Foundling pavement plaque

We had spotted this unusual plaque in 2015 but put it on the long finger. The...

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Jim Gaffney

Jim Gaffney, 1941 - 2002. Jim spent his life helping vulnerable children. H...

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This section lists the memorials created by the subject on this page:
Foundling Hospital

Creations Information

Collingham Garden

Collingham Garden The use of this ground for the welfare of children for all...

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Coram statue

The base of the statue is inscribed "Wm. MacMillan Sc. 1963". The pose is tak...

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