Wilson House, London

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Wilson House

Wilson House is a complex of Imperial College Halls of Residence. It is located at 38-76 Sussex Gardens, near to Edgware Road and Paddington tube stations. Beside the 20 houses facing Sussex Gardens, the Wilson House complex also includes two houses at 32-34 Southwick Street, and an Annexe located at the back of Wilson House.[1][2] Wilson House is a Grade-II listed building.[3]

The hall's motto is the Dog Latin phrase "Nos amo vos Wilson, vos operor", supposed to translate as "We love you Wilson, we do". It appears on the Hall crest.[4]


Wilson House was first opened in December 1954 and it was the first student hostel of St Mary's Hospital Medical School. When St Mary's Hospital Medical School became part of Imperial College London in 1988, Wilson House became the second largest undergraduate hall of residence of Imperial College London. The two houses on Southwick Street, also called Edgar Lawley attachment, were added just before Wilson House became part of Imperial College London.

Wilson House is named after Charles Wilson, 1st Baron Moran, who was the dean of St Mary's Hospital Medical School between 1920 and 1945 but became famous for being Sir Winston Churchill's personal physician, and also as the great-uncle of American film actor Owen Wilson. The attachment on Southwick Street was donated by the Edgar E Lawley Foundation, founded in 1961 by Edgar E Lawley (1889–1977) who was also the chairman of St Mary's Hospital Medical School.


From Southwick Street

Wilson House can host 390 students. During the 2012–13 academic year it was not occupied, due to refurbishment. In this period, the sports Hall (where the Annexe building now stands) was demolished and a large social space, piano room, two common rooms and 80 en-suite bed spaces built in its place. This reconfiguration led to the movement of the entrance to the building from House 54 (commonly referred to as 'The Lodge' by residents pre-2012) to House 64; creating a link to the new Annexe in the process. The hall has reopened.[5]

As part of the refurbishment, the hall lost the three flats and garages on Rainsford Street that adjoined the hall and face Jonathan Ross' production company's offices, Hotsauce House. Plans for these to be developed were put to Westminster Council by the University in 2016.[6]

Current usage[edit]

As with all Imperial Halls, Wilson House is staffed by a wardening team. In Wilson, this consists of a warden, assistant warden and seven sub-wardens. These staff have duty of care, pastoral and disciplinary responsibility for the students.

When not in use as an imperial student residence (July to September), the hall is converted into a hostel for educational groups visiting London.[7]

Due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, Imperial has made the decision to allocate a large section of the hall to NHS staff and Key Workers. With a few days notice the majority of the students living at Wilson had their belongings packed up and stored to make room for these key workers.[8]


  1. [1] Wilson House website
  2. http://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/campus-life/accommodation/halls/ug/wilson-house/
  3. Historic England listing
  4. https://wilson.halls.imperial.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Crest.png
  5. [2] Imperial College, Accommodations, Wilson House accessed 25 February 2013
  6. "Westminster Council Planning Application" (PDF).
  7. "Imperial College London Summer Accommodation".
  8. "Thursday 19 March - Wilson House Residents".

Coordinates: 51°31′2″N 0°10′11″W / 51.51722°N 0.16972°W / 51.51722; -0.16972

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