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.
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.