Member Login

Club History

The Caledonian Club was founded in 1891 by Neville Campbell as a proprietary Club at Waterpark House in Charles II Street, SW1. Continuing under private ownership it moved to Derby House in St James’s Square a few years later. On the death of the Club owner, Robertson Lawson, in April 1917, the Members purchased the remaining assets of the company and formed a Members’ Club under the leadership of the Chairman (1908 - 1919) John Stewart-Murray the Marquis of Tullibardine.

The Caledonian Club was officially opened as a Members’ Club at Derby House, in 1918, and the first General Meeting of the Members’ Club is recorded as being held on 8 March. One of the more famous Members was John Logie Baird who used the Club to give a private demonstration of his new television system to the Prince of Wales, later briefly King Edward VIII.

The Club developed a distinct military flavour though tragically more than two hundred Club Members were killed during the 1914-18 war. On 16 November 1940, Derby House suffered a direct hit and was completely demolished. Members were temporarily housed in the East India & Sports Club in St James’s Square, and afterwards at the Devonshire Club.

In 1946 a determined effort was made under the chairmanship of Donald Black to acquire a new Clubhouse and the present premises in Halkin Street were found and opened on 17 October 1946. The freehold of the Club is owned by the Grosvenor Estates and Halkin Street is named after Halkin Castle, the Flintshire seat of the Grosvenor family, the Dukes of Westminster. The house at No 9 was built in about 1910 for Hugh Morrison on the site of an Episcopal Chapel. He employed acclaimed architect Detmar Jellings Blow to design the residence, following on from their previous collaboration to build his country home, Fonthill House in Wiltshire.

Halkin Street is named after Halkin Castle, Flintshire, a seat of the Grosvenor family, Dukes of Westminster, who own large swathes of Belgravia. The castle was designed by the architect John Buckler and built between 1824 and 1827 for Robert Grosvenor, who was at the time the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, and later the 1st Marquess of Westminster. The building of the castle was supervised by Benjamin Gummow, the Earl's architect and surveyor. It was used as a sporting lodge and, on occasions, for living accommodation. In 1886 the Chester firm of architects, Douglas and Fordham, added an extension in Elizabethan style for the 1st Duke of Westminster. The extension consisted of a wing containing a new drawing room. Internal alterations were made which included a staircase, and a chimneypiece in the dining room.

Hugh Morrison, born in 1868, was the grandson of millionaire businessman, James Morrison. He became MP for Salisbury and was described as ‘one of the richest men in the kingdom’, and in addition to the house here owned a large part of Islay, in the southern Hebrides. He was very much interested in agriculture and in land and its heritage and was instrumental in helping to save Stonehenge for the nation, when in the late 1920's, the site was suffering from encroachment by modern building. A strong connection remains between the Club and the Morrison family. Alistair Morrison, 3rd Baron Margadale was a Member until recently and his brother Hugh was a trainer for the Caledonian Racing Society.

Modernisation of the clubhouse has continued over the years with the addition of a much-needed Terrace in 1994 and more recently in 2006 with the development of a new five-storey wing which was opened by Her Majesty the Queen.

The Caledonian Club Image Archive