One for the kids

24th September 2004 at 01:00
The Foundling Hospital for abandoned babies has been recreated to trace the history of Britain's first charity for children. Up to 1,000 babies a year were left on the streets of London by their parents in the early 18th century and were cared for at the Bloomsbury hospital thanks to the pioneering charity work of philanthropist Thomas Coram. As well as providing a home for abandoned babies, the hospital became London's first public art gallery and several leading artists of the day including Reynolds, Gainsborough and Hogarth donated work. The composer Handel was a governor and a chair which plays his music is one of several important artefacts from his life on display. Alongside these magnificent works are poignant personal mementoes left by mothers for their abandoned infants as means of identification. For more information on tickets and admissions.

Tel: 020 7841 3600; www.coram.org.ukheritage.htm

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