Photograph of a smoking room and a sleeping cubicle in a typical Rowton House c1925.
Founded by Montagu William Lowry (1838-1903), Lord Rowton. He had been private secretary to Disraeli and had helped to set up the Guinness Trust in 1890. He made a survey of London's common lodging houses for the Trust and decided to set up working men's hostels. He put up the initial �30,000 and the first Rowton House was opened at Bondway Vauxhall in 1892. In the first year 140,105 beds were let at 6d a night. For this the customer received clean sheets, had the use of tiled wash rooms, foot baths and washing troughs for clothes, all with ample hot water. There was also a lodgers' kitchen. In 1894 KING'S CROSS Rowton House opened with 678 beds. In 1897 Parkview House at NEWINGTON BUTTS was opened with 800 beds at 7d per night. Also in 1897 a hostel was opened at HAMMERSMITH but that was demolished in a Council redevelopment scheme. The Tower House, WHITECHAPEL was opened in 1902; and the largest hostel, Arlington House in CAMDEN TOWN, was opened in 1905.(Text Source: The London Encyclopedia)