St Clement’s Hospital was built as the Bow Workhouse in 1848-49. It was used as emergency accommodation for sick and helpless paupers from the City of London, before being converted to an infirmary and then a psychiatric hospital. It suffered from fires, war-time bombs, and reorganisations of the National Health Service, before finally closing in 2005. There is a detailed timeline at the end of the book.
In 2012, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson gave approval for the conversion of the derelict site into a community owned housing development. The City of London & Cripplegate Photographic Society were invited to make a photographic record of the site before development started. There was an exhibition of some of the photographs in this book, together with those of other Society members, in the Genesis Cinema in the Mile End Road late in 2012.