The Magdalen Hospital is the oldest institution of its kind, was founded in 1758 and has hitherto been located in the Blackfriars Road. For many years the removal of the institution from the Blackfriars Road has been moored, but the Governors shrank from so serious and expensive an undertaking until concurrent circumstances shoul seem to render it imperative.
In 1863 HM Charity Commissioner's made a careful inquiry into the working of the institution, which resulted in a recommendation that the Governors should take early steps to remove the same to a healthy suburban situation, and then dispose of the buildings and site. Six acres of land were bought in the Laingham Court Road West (Drewstead Road) and the present hospital has been erected thereon.
The building is designed to accomodate 140 penitents with a central administrative department, a detached infirmary, chaplains house and chapel
In arranging the plan the idea has been to separate and classify the inmates as much as possible, giving to each ward of 15 its distinct occupation in all domestic duties such as cooking, washing etc. The multiplication of kitchen and laundry arrangements has necessarily added to the cost, but the system was considered to be so advantageous that the Governors have not hesitated to carry it into effect
Source Architecture in London