Rowton Houses
Rowton Houses were a chain of hostel
Hostels provide budget oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available...

s built in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 by the Victorian
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

A philanthropist is someone who engages in philanthropy; that is, someone who donates his or her time, money, and/or reputation to charitable causes...

 Lord Rowton
Montagu Corry, 1st Baron Rowton
Montagu William Lowry-Corry, 1st Baron Rowton KCVO, CB, PC, DL , also known as "Monty," was a British philanthropist and public servant, best known for serving as Benjamin Disraeli's private secretary from 1866 until the latter's death in 1881.-Background and education:Born in London, Lowry-Corry...

 to provide decent accommodation for working men
Working Men
Working Men is a live compilation album by Canadian progressive rock band Rush. The compilation documents a shortlist of career-spanning material pulled from the band's three tours during the 2000s. The selections are from the Vapor Trails Tour, the R30: 30th Anniversary Tour and the Snakes &...

 in place of the squalid lodging houses of the time.

George Orwell
George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair , better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist...

, in Down & Out In Paris and London, wrote about lodging houses: "The best are the Rowton Houses, where the charge is a shilling
The shilling is a unit of currency used in some current and former British Commonwealth countries. The word shilling comes from scilling, an accounting term that dates back to Anglo-Saxon times where it was deemed to be the value of a cow in Kent or a sheep elsewhere. The word is thought to derive...

, for which you get a cubicle
Тhe cubicle, cubicle desk, office cubicle or cubicle workstation is a partially enclosed workspace, separated from neighboring workspaces by partitions that are usually tall...

 to yourself, and the use of excellent bathrooms. You can also pay half a crown for a special, which is practically hotel
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid lodging on a short-term basis. The provision of basic accommodation, in times past, consisting only of a room with a bed, a cupboard, a small table and a washstand has largely been replaced by rooms with modern facilities, including en-suite bathrooms...

 accommodation. The Rowton Houses are splendid buildings, and the only objection to them is the strict discipline, with rules against cooking, card playing, etc."

The Rowton Houses throughout London were:
  • Vauxhall
    -Demography:Many Vauxhall residents live in social housing. There are several gentrified areas, and areas of terraced townhouses on streets such as Fentiman Road and Heyford Avenue have higher property values in the private market, however by far the most common type of housing stock within...

    , 1892
  • Kings Cross, 1894
  • Parkview House in Newington Butts
    Newington, London
    Newington is a district of London, England, and part of the London Borough of Southwark. It was an ancient parish and the site of the early administration of the county of Surrey...

    , 1897. Demolished in 2007.
  • Hammersmith
    Hammersmith is an urban centre in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in west London, England, in the United Kingdom, approximately five miles west of Charing Cross on the north bank of the River Thames...

    , 1897, later demolished
  • Tower House in Whitechapel
    Whitechapel is a built-up inner city district in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, London, England. It is located east of Charing Cross and roughly bounded by the Bishopsgate thoroughfare on the west, Fashion Street on the north, Brady Street and Cavell Street on the east and The Highway on the...

    , 1902. The building has since been developed into luxury housing. Joseph Stalin
    Joseph Stalin
    Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

     stayed there for a fortnight in 1907.
  • Arlington House in Camden Town
    Camden Town
    -Economy:In recent years, entertainment-related businesses and a Holiday Inn have moved into the area. A number of retail and food chain outlets have replaced independent shops driven out by high rents and redevelopment. Restaurants have thrived, with the variety of culinary traditions found in...

    , 1905. The last and largest of the Houses, and the only one to remain in use as a hostel .

The architect for the bulk of the houses was Harry Bell Measures
Harry Bell Measures
Harry Bell Measures was an English architect.He had a varied career. From 1884 - 1892 he was in-house architect for William Willett producing high quality housing for the well-heeled in London and South East England; these were normally in the an ornate red brick Queen Anne style which was...

 FRIBA, who also designed the tube stations for the Central London Railway
Central London Railway
The Central London Railway , also known as the Twopenny Tube, was a deep-level, underground "tube" railway that opened in London in 1900...

in 1900 and was well known as the designer of many army barracks.

There was also a Rowton House in Highgate, Birmingham, that opened on 29 June 1903. It was built by the Birmingham Rowton Houses Ltd, from the designs and under the supervision of Measures. This building later became a hotel, the Paragon.

External links

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