Richard Barnett on The Foundling Hospital
Thomas Coram's home for abandoned children
To enter Coram's Fields, a leafy park with a petting zoo and
playground, visitors must be accompanied by a child. This
restriction reflects its history as the location of the Foundling
Hospital, a revolutionary organisation founded in 1739 by Thomas
Coram to provide a home for abandoned children. The main building
was demolished in the 1920s, leaving only the colonnades either
side of what would have been the main drive.
The history of the Hospital is told in the nearby Foundling
Museum, which is located to the north of Coram's Fields on
Brunswick Square, and contains works by Hogarth and Handel in
amongst artefacts relating to life at the hospital.
This video is from Medical London, a book and
website about 2000 years of health and sickness in the capital
city, featuring seven self-guided walks. The Foundling Hospital is
a point of interest on the seventh walk, 'Bloomsbury: blood, guts,
brains and babies'.