The Foundling Museum
The Foundling Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
11:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. Established in 1739 by philanthropist Thomas Coram, and continuing today as the children’s charity Coram, the Hospital was set up as an institution ‘for the maintenance and education of exposed and deserted young children’. Instrumental in helping Coram realise his vision were the artist William Hogarth, who encouraged leading artists of the day to donate work, and the composer George Frideric Handel, who gave annual benefit concerts of his Messiah. Discover thought-provoking exhibitions, contemporary art commissions, collection displays and historic archives, plus a lively programme of concerts, workshops, talks and special events, all enjoyed within beautiful 18th-century interiors. Explore the intriguing story behind this important London institution and the ways in which artists and children have inspired each other for over 275 years.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Bloomsbury
Snuggly nestled within Central London is academic and leafy Bloomsbury, an area that boasts walking distance access to many of London's most popular attractions. It is also home to some of Britain's most celebrated museums, including the must-see British Museum. Despite an understandable popularity with students, tourists and day trippers, vast sections of Bloomsbury retain a quiet, residential feel year round and throughout the week.
How to get there
  • Russell Square • 4 min walk
  • King's Cross St. Pancras • 10 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Martin H
    Stockport, United Kingdom640 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worthwhile visit
    Never been before, though I had heard of it, and very interesting. A monument to the efforts of Thomas Coram and the struggles he had to get his project off the ground. helpful, knowledgeable staff. Don't miss the (tiny) sculpture by Tracy Emin on the railings outside
    Visited August 2023
    Written 13 August 2023
  • mrhg l
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A vital gem of London and Georgian history
    A Georgian mansion which was home to Thomas Coram's institution for orphaned children or children whose parents had no capacity to look after them. It is one of London's lesser known yet vital tourist sites. The stories of the children who lived there are told with care. The stories of the men and women who governed it and funded it are also told - many were well known such as Hogarth and Handel. The place is well lit, with displays clear and easy to read. There are numerous interesting paintings. The tastefully decorated Court Room is one of the finest Georgian rooms in London, possibly the finest. The upper floor is devoted to a small yet interesting exhibit about the composer Handel.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 6 March 2024
  • MrsCLancs
    Lancaster, United Kingdom109 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great museum recognising the hard lives of people in our ‘recent’ history.
    Very poignant and interesting museum. The ground floor is fabulous and I felt quite emotional at times. It’s full of written and video stories, and displays of mementoes. The upper floors show the massive variation between the lives that the children led and the grandeur that around….with credit to some of the philanthropists.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 8 March 2024
  • Carole S
    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom856 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Really interesting...
    I stumbled across this museum when I was looking for places to visit. A great little find and worth a visit. I knew nothing of this subject until this visit and I think it's worth knowing about. Quite hard reading and watching, in places, but another good example of understanding our past. Recommend. Carole : )
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 7 April 2024
  • nickswlon
    Teddington, United Kingdom462 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well put together museum
    Very interesting museum near Russell Square tube station. Well put together with some emotional stories and pictures and brief bios of some of the most recent children who went on to have fulfilling lives. I’d recommend a visit here to future travellers.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 30 April 2024
  • SteeleDeb
    West Sussex, United Kingdom92 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highly Recommended
    I came across this museum by chance when looking up a walking route from St Pancras to the British Museum on Apple Maps. I’m so glad I did as I’ve just spent a fascinating 90 minutes learning about the history of the Foundling Hospital. The displays are excellent in telling the story of the hospital, including the people who made it happen, and its connection with the composer, Handel. The museum space is spacious and airy and certainly doesn’t feel crowded, unlike other museums in the city. A brilliant insight into 18th century London and very much worth a visit.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 13 June 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles560 reviews
Excellent
275
Very good
196
Average
63
Poor
20
Terrible
6

SteeleDeb
West Sussex, UK92 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
June 2024 • Solo
I came across this museum by chance when looking up a walking route from St Pancras to the British Museum on Apple Maps. I’m so glad I did as I’ve just spent a fascinating 90 minutes learning about the history of the Foundling Hospital. The displays are excellent in telling the story of the hospital, including the people who made it happen, and its connection with the composer, Handel. The museum space is spacious and airy and certainly doesn’t feel crowded, unlike other museums in the city. A brilliant insight into 18th century London and very much worth a visit.
Written 13 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

nickswlon
Teddington, UK462 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Solo
Very interesting museum near Russell Square tube station. Well put together with some emotional stories and pictures and brief bios of some of the most recent children who went on to have fulfilling lives. I’d recommend a visit here to future travellers.
Written 30 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carole S
Milton Keynes, UK856 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
I stumbled across this museum when I was looking for places to visit. A great little find and worth a visit. I knew nothing of this subject until this visit and I think it's worth knowing about.
Quite hard reading and watching, in places, but another good example of understanding our past.

Recommend.

Carole : )
Written 7 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sall1964
Bury St. Edmunds, UK14 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Good small museum. Worth a visit. The history of the founding very interesting. Some good paintings. Also a interesting temporary exhibition.
Written 4 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LyndaMW
Macungie, PA64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
I did not know the history of the Foundling Hospital, so this was all new & very interesting! Friendly staff provided orientation/overview then left you to explore at your pace. Two bonuses—there’s a G. F. Handel connection & ‘mini-museum-with-a-museum’ and currently an excellent photographic exhibit about several Ukrainian women who have emigrated to England. Very touching!
Written 27 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MrsCLancs
Lancaster, UK109 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
Very poignant and interesting museum.
The ground floor is fabulous and I felt quite emotional at times.
It’s full of written and video stories, and displays of mementoes.
The upper floors show the massive variation between the lives that the children led and the grandeur that around….with credit to some of the philanthropists.
Written 8 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrhg l
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
A Georgian mansion which was home to Thomas Coram's institution for orphaned children or children whose parents had no capacity to look after them.

It is one of London's lesser known yet vital tourist sites.

The stories of the children who lived there are told with care.

The stories of the men and women who governed it and funded it are also told - many were well known such as Hogarth and Handel.

The place is well lit, with displays clear and easy to read.

There are numerous interesting paintings.

The tastefully decorated Court Room is one of the finest Georgian rooms in London, possibly the finest.

The upper floor is devoted to a small yet interesting exhibit about the composer Handel.
Written 6 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lvegas
Dinas Powys, UK56 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
So disappointed with this museum.
I’ve read lots of books about the foundling hospital/home and was looking forward to seeing memorabilia of the babies left there.
The ground floor was great, lots of tokens on display that mums had left with their babies, information and original books and a film made by adults who were once foundlings..
… the rest of the displays were paintings that had been gifted to the foundling hospital to raise monies , along with a room dedicated to motzart who raised huge amounts of money for the cause.
All interesting but not really what I had expected or really wanted to see ..
Then the modern art… what can I say… awful!!!!
Written 30 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

goldenparadox
Elkridge, MD491 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
When I decided to visit this museum, I had no idea what it (or a foundling) was. I decided to visit because I was in the area and had 2 hours to kill. It was very interesting and eye-opening to read about the history of this hospital/home for orphans. I felt that the exhibits were well thought-out and meaningful, and as someone who is adopted, it even made me a little emotional. Learning about the famous folks from the 1700s who contributed and supported it was also very interesting. The special art exhibition wasn't really my cup of tea-- a little too feminist and "odd", but overall, the entire museum and exhibits provided a well-rounded experience. I am very glad that I stumbled upon it and visited.
Written 27 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Susan A
8 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
Not too easy to find. Expected more items from Foundling era..There is usually an exhibition of some kind there.
Staff very friendly and helpful.
Written 26 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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The Foundling Museum - All You MUST Know Before You Go (2024)

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