City of London
Maternity Hospital

65 Hanley Road, Tollington Park, N4

Medical dates:

Medical character:

1750 - 1983


Several lying-in hospitals were built in London during the mid 18th century, intended for "the wives of  poor industrious tradesmen or distressed housekeepers".  The City of London Lying-In Hospital for Married Women and Sick and Lame Out-Patients was the third oldest institution of this kind, founded in an apartment in London House, Aldersgate Street, in 1750.

In less than a year it moved to Thanet House (later Shaftesbury House), also in Aldersgate Street, where it became known as the City of London Lying-In Hospital for Married Women.

In 1773 it moved to premises on the corner of City Road and Old Street, near St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, when it had 36 beds.

At the beginning of the 20th century the building was damaged by the construction works for the Great Northern and City Railway underneath Old Street.  Because parts of its building were condemned by the LCC, the Hospital moved to temporary accommodation at 228 Old Street while rebuilding took place.

It reopened in 1907 with 71 beds.

In 1918 it was felt that the term 'lying-in' did not embrace the post-natal and child welfare work being undertaken; it became the City of London Maternity Hospital.

In 1940, during WW2, half the Hospital (by this time it had 82 beds) was evacuated to Brocket Hall, near Welwyn Garden City, Herts.  A week later, the northern wing was destroyed by a bomb but, fortunately, with no loss of life.  Further bombs the following year destroyed the building entirely.

Patients were accommodated either at Brocket Hall or at Friern Barnet Hospital and, later, at the London Fever Hospital in Islington.

With the reorganisation of hospitals under the NHS in 1948, the Hospital agreed to amalgamate with the Gynaecological and Obstetric Department at the Royal Northern Hospital, and in 1949 it reopened in premises bought from the Institute of the Blind in Hanley Road, with 52 beds.  A new building was built adjacent to this in 1955.

In 1974 it became part of Islington Health District.

By 1980 it had 86 beds but, in 1983, in yet another NHS reorganisation, it amalgamated with the Whittington Hospital .  The Hanley Road building was closed and services moved to the Whittington Hospital to form the City of London Maternity Unit with 47 beds.

Present status (February 2009)

The building has been demolished and the site redeveloped as part of Hanley Gardens, a small housing estate which has an NHS Education and Employment Project Centre placed in the middle.

City Road site  City Road site
The original Hospital site, adjacent to St Luke's Hospital for Lunatics, on the corner of City Road and Old Street.

Hanley Road

Looking from the west on Hanley Road.

Hanley Centre

Looking into Hanley Gardens.

Education and Employment Centre

The NHS Education and Employment Centre in the middle of the estate.


(Author unstated) March 25, 1950  City of London Maternity hospital.  Bicentenary Celebrations.  British Medical Journal 1 (4655), 725-727.

Black N 2006  Walking London's Medical History.  London, Royal Society of Medicine Press.


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