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Foundling Museum Tours

Foundling Museum
Open since 2004, the Foundling Museum tells the story of the Foundling Hospital: an 18th-century children’s home—the first such institution in Britain—established by philanthropist Thomas Coram. In addition to hospital-related artifacts, the museum also showcases works by artists the likes of Hogarth and Gainsborough.

The Basics
The first children’s charity in the UK when it was established in 1739, the Foundling Hospital cared and provided for unwanted and disadvantaged children. Though the Foundling Museum does not occupy the original hospital, which was eventually torn down, its current building dates to the 1930s and was built in a historical style, complete with lavish, rococo interiors. Today, the museum tells the story of the hospital; thanks in part to the many artists of the era who helped support it, it also possesses an impressive collection of paintings and other works. The institution is still closely associated with George Frideric Handel, who hosted charity performances for its benefit, and displays items related to the composer.

The Foundling Museum is included in the London Pass program and is an easy stop to add to an independent London cultural itinerary.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • While the Foundling Museum does not have a café on-site, it has deals with two nearby eateries: Leon (a fast-casual restaurant) and The Lamb (a storied Bloomsbury pub).
  • The Foundling Museum is equipped with ramps, elevators, accessible bathrooms, and facilities for guide dogs.
  • Disabled visitors are entitled to discounted admission rates, and carers are able to visit for free.
  • A cloakroom, baby-changing facilities, and gift shop are all hosted on-site.

How to Get There

The Foundling Museum is located on Brunswick Square in Bloomsbury. To access the museum by Tube, take the Piccadilly line to Russell Square; the King’s Cross transit hub is also located within walking distance. Alternatively, use bus line 7, 59, 68, 91, 98, 168, or 188. The museum can also be reached on foot, by bike, and by taxi.

When to Get There
The Foundling Museum is open 10am–5pm Tuesday–Saturday and 11am–5pm on Sunday. As the museum hosts an array of temporary exhibitions, as well as talks, performances, and other special events, it’s worth planning repeat visits.

Nearby Museums
If you wish to plan a full cultural day out, several of London’s other petite, personality-packed museums are located just minutes away, including the Charles Dickens Museum and the Postal Museum.
Address: 40 Brunswick Square, London, United Kingdom WC1N 1AZ, England
Admission: Varies
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