Victorian London - Entertainment and Recreation - Clubs - Conservative Club

Conservative Club interior, 1845 [ILN Picture Library]

Conservative Club interior, 1845 [ILN Picture Library]

CONSERVATIVE CLUB HOUSE, on the west side of ST. JAMES'S STREET. Built 1843-45, on the site of the Thatched House Tavern, from the designs of the late George Basevi and Sydney Smirke, Esq., and opened Feb. 19th, 1845. The interior decorations are by Mr. Sang. There are six public rooms, viz., a morning and evening-room, library, coffee-room, dining-room and card-room. In addition to these there are committee-rooms, billiard-rooms, &c. The most striking feature of the house is the Hall, coved so as to allow a gallery to run round it, and the staircase, both richly ornamented in colour. The most stately room is that for evening occupation, extending from north to south of the building, on the first floor. It is nearly 100 feet in length, 26 in breadth, and 25 in height, with coved ceiling, supported by 18 noble Seagiola Corinthian columns. The morning-room on the ground floor is of the same dimensions, and is very elegant in its appointment. The library occupies nearly the whole of the upper part of the north of the building. The coffee-room , in the lower division of the northern portion of the building, is of the same proportions as the library.

Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850

see also London at Dinner, 1858 - click here

The CONSERVATIVE, 74 St. James's Street, is a species of "minor Carlton." Number of members, 1200; who pay an entrance fee of 26l. 5s., and a library fee of 2l. 2s. ; yearly subscription, 8l. 8s. Members are balloted for by the committee of management.
    The Club-house, a handsome building, was erected in 1843-5, on the site of the old "Thatched House Tavern," from the designs of Messrs. Bassevi and Sydney Smirke. The total cost was 73,500l. The encaustic paintings which adorn the interior were executed by Sang, at an additional expense of 2700l. There are six public rooms, a morning- room, a drawing-room, library, dining-room, card-room, and coffee-room., Of these, the morning and drawing rooms, each 92 ft. long, are inferior to none in richness of decoration and sybaritic luxuries. In each, a gorgeous coved ceiling is supported by eighteen stately Corinthian columns of Scagliola marble.

Cruchley's London in 1865 : A Handbook for Strangers, 1865

[ ... back to main menu for this book]

Conservative Club, St. James's-street To carry out Conservative principles. Every candidate must be a Conservative. Entrance fee 10 10s. Towards the library fund, the first year only, 2 2s. Candidates solicitors can only be elected on a vacancy of 5 per cent. on 1,200 members.

Charles Dickens (Jr.), Dickens's Dictionary of London, 1879

George Birch, The Descriptive Album of London, c.1896