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.