Mothers’ Hospital of the Salvation Army
Mothers’ Hospital of the Salvation Army, opened as the Ivy House Maternity Hospital in 1884 at 280 Mare Street, Hackney. It changed its name to Ivy House Hospital in 1913 when it moved to 153 – 165 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney and eventually took the name Mother’s Hospital in 1922. It was opened by the Salvation Army to care for unmarried pregnant women, but it was closed in 1986, being replaced by Homerton Hospital.
In an article entitled ‘Ghosts of sisters past’ which was published in The Guardian on 22 December 2004, Mark Gould gives the following story about a ghost at the hospital. Unfortunately he does not identify which site the legend pertains to. ‘At the now defunct Mothers Hospital, in Hackney, east London, drowsy nurses complained of feeling a startling tap on the shoulder. According to legend, a nurse who was bottle-feeding a newborn baby dozed off and slumped forward in her sleep, smothering the baby. In a fit of remorse, she killed herself and was condemned to walk the wards, tapping young nurses on the shoulder to keep them awake.’