Two 'foundling' exhibitions at Barnet Museum and libraries

Two 'foundling' exhibitions at Barnet Museum and libraries

The Barnet Foundling hospital exhibition and Foundling Voices will be featured at the Barnett Museum throughout December

The Barnet Foundling Hospital, Monken Hadley, 1762-1768

A new exhibtion, The Barnet Foundling Hospital, Monken Hadley, 1762-1768, showcases objects from one of six small hospitals - or children's homes - set up by the Foundling Hospital, London.

The ‘Barnet’ branch of the Foundling Hospital was in Monken Hadley from 1762 to 1768. It had views over Enfield Chase and its manager, Mrs Prudence West, lived a mile away in Barnet itself. A variety of objects related to some of the children who were placed  there will be displayed during the exhibition.These include poignant identifying coin tokens left with babies by their mothers and letters written by Mrs West.

The tokens were provided by the Foundling Museum in London and the letters by Coram, orginally the Thomas Coram Foundation, which established the Foundling Museum. The exhibition has been curated by Yvonne Tomlinson and provides a glimpse into important research undertaken over the last few years.


Foundling Voices

Another exhibition, Foundling Voices features oral histories from people who were the last to be cared for by the Foundling Hospital in Berkhamsted, which ceased operations in 1954. It is the last of a series of touring exhibitions, following a major exhibition held in the Foundling Museum in London in 2011.

By 1954 fostering had became ‘the norm’ and the ‘Hospital’ or residential school building became a local authority school.

This exhibition will include extracts from some individual histories as audio clips, transcriptions and on film. They explore memories of separation, school, love, loss and rediscovery from foundlings who grew up in the 20th century Foundling Hospital.

This exhibition has been curated by the Foundling Museum and is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It will close on Sunday 13 January 2013.

Despite being separated by two centuries, the exhibitions reveal how similar the children’s lives and experiences were. The truth and honesty of recent experience may allow insight, at least in part, to the stories of the foundling children of the distant past


Date Saturday 1st December 2012, 14:00 - Monday 14th January 2013, 18:00
Contact,, 020 8440 8066.
Address Barnet Museum & Local History Society, 31 Wood Street, Barnet EN5 4BE.