• LOCATION 17 | Charles Dickens from Furnival's Inn to Doughty Street

    Great Ormond Street

    Stop at the intersection for a moment, and look to your right. The big, brick complex is another famous children's hospital, Great Ormond Street Hospital. Dickens was one of its first supporters. He helped to raise vital funds, and wrote articles which raised public awareness of the hospital.

    When you’re ready to move on, cross the road ahead and walk down the pedestrianised section of the street.

    Great Ormond Street Hospital was a radical new place: a hospital solely for children. The nurses who worked here were the first nurses to be specially trained in children's health. Dickens was approached to help publicise the hospital at a very poignant time in his life. Charles and Catherine Dickens had ten children: three daughters and seven sons. Nine of their children lived to adulthood, but their youngest daughter, baby Dora, died when she was a few months old. It was not long after Dora's death that Dickens was told about the plans for a new hospital.

    In his article he wrote about the large number of infant deaths – this was an era when one-third of all children born in London died before their fifth birthdays. Dickens helped to create an awareness of how important it was that London should have a hospital specifically for children and babies.

    Keep walking straight. You might want to stop in one of the shops or cafes on this section of Lamb's Conduit Street. If you do, just continue down this street when you're ready, and the tour will resume automatically at the next location.

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Charles Dickens from Furnival's Inn to Doughty Street