The Foundling Museum

The Foundling Museum tells the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity which has directly contributed to housing over 25,000 children.

The London Pass London Pass Benefits: Access to the Foundling Museum with a London Pass Normally £12.00 - Included with London Pass

Explore the history of the UK’s first children’s charity. The Foundling Museum is a unique and specialist museum dedicated to a fascinating aspect of London’s social history.

 Enjoy access to the Foundling Museum's current exhibitions with The London Pass.

- Pay nothing at the door – simply show your pass.
- View over 11,000 portraits of crucial British figures.
- Tour several floors filled with various sculptures, medals, coins, death masks, wax busts, pottery figures, papier-mache models, prints, taxidermy, and films.
- The pass grants you access to any current exhibitions, tours, and lectures included with general museum admission.

Pass Perk

Passholders may also purchase the Foundling Guidebook for the special price of £3.00 - usually £6.95

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- The Foundling Museum history

- The Foundling Museum highlights

- The Foundling Museum facts

- Current exhibitions

- Know before you go

- Make the most of your London Pass

- How to get there

 

The Foundling Museum history 

The Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital. Established in the 18th century, it cared for babies at risk of abandonment, housing around 25,000 children before its closure. This excellent facility has a diverse program of exhibitions, archive documents, and events that offer different ways of engaging with its fascinating history. 

 

In the Foundling Hospital’s infant years, William Hogarth encouraged leading artists of his day to donate their work to line the walls. It attracted more visitors and made the hospital a very fashionable place to visit. The sight of the sick children and the institutions’ important mission moved visitors so much that they felt compelled to donate to the hospital. In effect, Hogarth created the first public art gallery in London. 

Today the museum continues its charity work through registered charity, Coram, named after Thomas Coram. In 1739, Thomas Coram led a 17-year-long campaign that resulted in the creation of the Foundling Hospital. In its infancy, the hospital took in babies whose parents could not care for them. The children were housed in temporary foster homes until the age of five. After, they were sent back to live at the hospital and received a free education until they turned 15.

This charitable history still lives on in the Foundling Museum. All intakings from concessions and admissions continue to fund support for Coram in aiding the UK’s most vulnerable children. Their services cover adoption, fostering, youth projects, creative therapies, health and wellbeing education, training for practitioners, and supporting parents. Coram also upholds children’s rights and ensures young people’s voices remain heard. 

Over the years, the museum has become a pioneering in reinventing methods of child development, and it incorporates interactive experiences within its exhibitions to make it more accessible to all ages. This is evident in the different forms of art on show, and the range within its teaching programs. Visitors can take part in design, performance, music, museum studies, conservation and curating classes, and there are even opportunities for students to submit their work for display.

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The Foundling Museum highlights

  • Enjoy a variety of musical performances included with museum admission
  • Liven up your lunchtime with workshops and activities the whole family can enjoy
  • Get closer to the museums’ artifacts with exciting handling sessions

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The Foundling Museum facts 

  • The Foundling Hospital was established in 1739 by philanthropist Thomas Coram who, after 17 years of campaigning, finally received a Royal Charter from King George II. 
  • Founded in 2004, the Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital, that continues today as Coram, the UK’s first dedicated children’s charity.
  • As a result of Hogarth’s initiative, the Foundling Museum now houses works by artists such as Gainsborough and Hogarth himself.
  • The Foundling Museum is located opposite Brunswick Square, which is near to the original site of the Foundling Hospital, and Coram’s Fields, one of the largest children’s parks in London. Its dedication to improving child development methods makes it one of the most child-friendly museums in London. 
  • Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge became Patron of the Foundling Museum in March 2019 and has since visited the museum to take part in various youth workshops.

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Current Exhibitions

Display: Fear
24 September 2019 - 12 January 2020

Inspired by their bedroom fears, young care leavers, enrolled in the museum’s training program, built a protective structure from bamboo and tracing paper. On the outside, they printed a safe forest from linocuts, and on the inside, they printed their bedroom fears using letter stamps.

Exhibition: Two Last Nights! Show Business in Georgian Britain
20 September 2019 – 5 January 2020

Displayed throughout the whole museum, this interactive exhibition will delve into the mechanics of theatre and concert-going in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain. With more than 100 objects on display, discover the surprising similarities and astonishing differences between theatre and festival-going then and now, including advertising, ticket sales, audience behavior, and dress code.

Going to a show flourished as a popular pastime in the eighteenth century, and as a result, the entertainment industry saw rapid expansion: many theatres were built, and music festivals began in both London and the provinces. These growing forms of entertainment contributed to the vast range of audience experiences we know today.

Enjoy a fascinating glimpse of behind-the-scenes roles, from theatre managers, set designers, and scenery-painters, to the refreshment sellers and ticket collectors. Learn how leading artists of the day, including Hogarth, Hayman, and Lambert, crossed over into the world of show business as set designers and scenery painters.

Learn more about the current exhibitions here

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Know before you go

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Make the most of your London Pass

  • Save on entry costs to this historic building and experience the child-friendly workshops and events
  • Foreign language guides are available by request, ask upon arrival to make the most of your visit
  • The Foundling Museum is just a short walk away from the Charles Dickens Museum, where you can tour the Victorian family home of one of the world’s greatest storytellers - London Pass holders get free entry 

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How to get there

Underground

  • Russel Square - Piccadilly Line
  • King’s Cross St Pancras - Northern, Piccadilly, Victoria, Hammersmith & City and
  • Metropolitan Lines, 
  • Euston Square - Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines

Train

  • King’s Cross & St Pancras International
  • London Euston

Bus

7, 59, 68, 91, 98, 168 and 188

Visit the Foundling Museum website for more travel information.

 

For more things to do in London, check out The London Pass® Blog.

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A very good experience and so many facilities. The service is good and also the information about the services and places we can use it turns the tour faster and safe. I think I will use it every time I travel and I share it with friends and relatives.
Marcio Christ from United Kingdom

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Learn more

Getting to The Foundling Museum

Getting to The Foundling Museum

  • The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square London WC1N 1AZ

Opening Times

Monday Closed
Tuesday 10.00 - 17.00
Wednesday 10.00 - 17.00
Thursday 10.00 - 17.00
Friday 10.00 - 17.00
Saturday 10.00 - 17.00
Sunday 11.00 - 17.00

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