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.