Philanthropist Captain Thomas Coram founded the Foundling Hospital in 1739, to care for some of the abandoned London street children - it is estimated that perhaps 1,000 babies a year were left to die in alleys and rubbish tips at that time. The hospital cared for about 27,000 children during its life until the 1950's, and even had a special anthem written for it by Handel.
It is a small museum but very moving, especially the display cases of tokens left by mothers which allowed them to identify their children if they were subsequently claimed, and the handwritten petitions of mothers pleading that the hospital accept their offspring.
In the early days only a proportion of those seeking entrance were accepted, which could mean the difference between life and death. Groups of mothers would select coloured balls to determine which of their (about one-in-three) babies would be accepted into the hospital.
We enjoyed the photographs, uniforms, cutlery and the recordings of former inmates describing thier lives.
The museum has exhibits relating to the cartoonist and satirist Hogarth, as well as the composer Handel, including scores of his music, wills and other items connected with the composer and with the hospital.
It is quite different to many other London museums and there are activities for children, audio-visual displays and a good website.
Not me for a start, get 'yer coat girl, you've pulled.
The 'Bloomsbury set' or the 'Bloomsberries' were very much a intellectual clique that existed from roughly the start of the 20th century until the second world war. They lived, partied and worked (occasionaly) in the area of London known as Bloomsbury. This area comprised the area roughly between Tottenham Court Road, Euston Road, Southampton Row and New Oxford Street. It was owned by the Bedford Estates, and thus by the Duke of Bedford. There is therefore something of a coherence about the architecture in this area.
With the poximity of both the British Museum and Imperial University, the various writers artists, economists of the social network have spawned a forest of Blue Plaques in the area. The group itself were somewhat distrusted in their time. This was partly because most took an anti-war stance and partly because their sexual morals were somwhat different to the norm. The bohemian lifestle means thet can perhaps been seen as 'proto-hippies' where homosexuality, open marriages, bi-sexuality and other sexual liasons were common.
It's an area to gently stroll around and discover, especially after a visit to the British Museum.
Take a half hour long "flight" rising to 450 foot in the air in one of 32 capsules in this oversized ferris wheel with views all over historic London.
Adult £11.50, Child (5-15) £5.75, Under 5 FREE, *Senior (60+) £9.00, *Students £9.00. Groups of 15 or more fare paying guests receive a ten per cent discount.
*Except weekends and the months of July and August.
Guide Books £3.00
31 January to 30 April 2004:
9.30am - 8.00pm
Monday - Thursday: 9.30am - 8.00pm
Friday - Sunday: 9.30am - 9.00pm
Monday - Thursday: 9.30am - 9.00pm
Friday - Sunday: 9.30am - 10.00pm
9.30am - 10.00pm daily
5 January – 30 January 2004: closed for annual maintenance
Bank holidays: 09.30am - 9.00pm
22 May - 3 June 2004: open until 10.00pm
1 - 5 September 2004: open until 10.00pm.
Every Tuesday the first flight will be at 10.30am, except during school holidays and the months of June, July and August.
Well we experienced our first flight at the hands of British Airways on Sunday 21st November 2004, the security was just like flying with a thorough searching of bags and questioning about sharp objects, even after departure from the capsule two people searched it with mirrors for hidden objects.
We bought the tickets from the ticket office in the adjacent County Hall although you can buy them in advance over the phone or on the net.
Built in the 1820s by Thomas Cubitt.....
W B Yeats lived in this street for 25 years...
...the shops are not old worldy. There is a greasy spoon cafe (named after Charles Dickens) and a curry house