This is John Dobson’s 19th century “lying-in” maternity hospital for poor women. It’s located next to the Blue Carpet which I’ve previously featured. It opened in 1826, and remained in use until 1923.
Far from offering care to all-comers, like the modern NHS, this hospital wouldn’t admit those too poor to afford baby clothes, the homeless, those with infectious diseases, or those who had fallen pregnant outside of wedlock. And, yes, marriage certificates had to be presented prior to admission. It all seems so medicoethically bankrupt by the standards of today’s UK.
I understand that the building had a later life as the regional headquarters of the BBC, but I’m not quite sure what it houses these days.