This was the site of Dr Barnardo's Shelter for women and infants in the nineteenth century. A few Toynbee Hall residents in their investigation of local shelters, provided this critical description of the institution:
"Accommodation for 30, nearly always full. Here there is no investigation and no payment. The inmates are not supposed to remain more than three nights out of ten, but the rule is not strictly enforced. A pint of cocoa and a piece of bread and butter, which varies according to the age of applicant and number of infants, is also given. The Shelter is open nominally from 9 p.m. till midnight, but cases are admitted at any hour. No efforts are made to follow up and find work for cases."
"Shelters: Their use and abuse," The Toynbee Record, v. iv, no. 2, November 1891, p. 25.
I was in Dock Street this morning (25 August) leading a tour. I can confirm that this building has now been demolished. I didn't think that would happen, but sadly it has. Finally they are developing the land next door, which has been empty for some time.