Arlington House was founded in 1905 and is the last and largest of the Rowton Houses, set up to help London's poor. It is the only one to remain in use as a hostel.
For its first 80 years, it had a capacity for 1,200 tenants. This later reduced to 400.
Arlington has a long relationship with the Irish immigrant community. Many arrived in London after World War 2 to work on post-blitz rebuilding projects and ended up staying here. In the mid-1990s, when the Irish accounted for 8% of Camden’s population, over 40% of the male residents of the hostel were from Ireland. The remaining Irish residents have secure tenancy at the hostel.
Famous residents of the hostel have included George Orwell and Irish poet Brendan Behan. Both have featured Arlington in their work. It even gets a mention in the song “One Better Day” by Madness.
When we took over the management of the building in 2009, we refurbished and transformed it into a modern and inspirational place to live. Since 2010 is has been a mixed-use facility: