The Foundling Hospital

UCD LIBRARY CULTURAL HERITAGE COLLECTIONS

This blog post is about a grim institution of 18th century Dublin and contains details that some readers may find upsetting.

The many commuters who use the Luas St. James’s stop everyday are almost certainly aware that they are very near to the site of the proposed new National Children’s Hospital. It is unlikely though, that they know their proximity to the site of a very different ‘hospital’ for children;.one of Dublin’s most appalling asylums which lasted from early in the eighteenth century to the opening decades of the 19th.

National Children's Hospital An artists impression of the new National Children’s Hospital

A brief history of The Ancient Foundling Hospital (UCD Special Collections 35.F.2/11) by William Dudley Wodsworth, is more than long enough to outline the full horror of the story despite the restraint of the author, a Victorian era civil servant.

A foundling is an infant that…

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