Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Clubs - Civil Service Club

CIVIL SERVICE CLUB, the, upon the site of the Thatched House Tavern, St. James's-street, James Knowles, jun., architect, is occupied by an association of gentlemen connected with the several branches of the Civil Service. The face, 99 feet high, is entirely of stone, and has a very elegant bay window; the decorative carving, by Daymond, represents real foliage and birds instead of mere conventional ornaments. In excavating the foundations - which were carried 30ft. below the level of the street, their superficial extent being about 7500 square feet - a collection of fossils was discovered, including a good specimen of a lion's jaw and a variety of mammoth bones, the ancient denizens of the spot in centuries long passed; below this surface the earth was pierced another 80ft., to which depth the main tube of the hydraulic apparatus descends, its lifting power being obtained by the gradual rise of water let into the tube as required. The Club-house rises above the surrounding buildings; there is an extensive panoramic view of town and country from its upper rooms, to which access if obtained by two staircases, or by an hydraulic lift, which communicates with every floor, and is of the newest and safest construction.

John Timbs, Curiosities of London, 1867