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16 October 2014
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Gwyn's Institute

Situated in Brooke Park, Londonderry.

Do you know anything about this building?


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Nanette Eakin (Mrs) - 13 April '04

I have been searching the web for information on Gwyn's Institute in Brooke Park, Londonderry. As far as I can establish the Park was formerly the grounds of the Institution. I have read several newspaper articles stating people were brought up in the Institute.

I lived beside the Park in Marlborough Street for the first 17 years of my life (I am now over 50) and, as so often happens, did not think to ask what that marvellous building was for. I know it housed a library in my youth, and also presented some exhibitions. In my earlier years I think it was also a type of National Health Clinic where dried baby milk etc. was issued.

Having visited Brooke Park very recently, it brought back memories of that lovely building and I would be interested if anyone can give me any information on it, or advise me where I may find records of same.

Your responses:

Nanette Eakin - Oct '06
Many thanks to Enda McLaughlin for the information on Gwyns Institution. I found it very interesting.

Enda McLaughlin - Mar 06
Sorry for the delay in answering - I only came across your article yesterday.
It seems that there was a gentleman by the name of Gwyn who was born in Muff and became an orphan at an early age. He eventualy found work in Derry, remained a bachelor, but willed his money(a tidy sum of thousands - a lot in those days) so that an orphanage be founded in Derry. With a little help from other sources the institute was built in 1840. It was an orphanage until 1901 when Brook Park was developed around it and it was used as a Museum. It became a Library in 1926 then a Workshop for the Blind. It also was used as a Pathological Laboratory for a while.And an Education Office. And you were correct - it was Welfare Food Centre. it was also a Civil Defence Assembly point during the war.
You may get more info from the Waterside Library.

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