I have walked past this building many times, and only just decided to find out what it was.
It was a Free Hospital, founded by Jonathan Fry, a son of Elizabeth Fry, to provide medical treatment for the poor. It was originally founded in 1836, and had various sites – Carey Street, Bishopsgate, Spitalfields before moving to Kingsland Road Hackney, near my home.
Its mission? ‘to grant immediate relief to the sick poor of every nation and class whatever may be their diseases, on presenting themselves to the charity without letter of recommendation; such letters being always procured with difficulty and often after dangerous delay’.
It became part of the NHS when it was established after WW2 and then closed in 1977.