Tel: 0117 974 5039
  • The Clifton Club
  • The Clifton Club
  • The Clifton Club
  • The Clifton Club
  • The Clifton Club

Wedding hire

The Club can offer wedding ceremonies as well as receptions for up to 100 guests.

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The Clifton Club provides the ideal environment for corporate meetings and functions.

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Our History

The 'Cosmopolitan Club':

The Clifton Club started life as a private gentleman's club but today our ladies and couples membership is extremely popular and has propelled the Club to new levels.

The Club has always appealed to the professional, the influential, the entrepreneurial and the interesting.  The environment is relaxed but exclusive, providing excellent social and networking opportunities and combining modern professional facilities within its heritage surroundings

Today there is a truly cosmopolitan air with a social programme that seeks to involve all - the undergraduate, the business person, the retiree.

2018 marks the start of our bicentenary year and we are thrilled to be one of the oldest members clubs in Britain.


Founding Fathers:

On the 3rd October 1818, a group of like-minded gentlemen presided over by Sir Richard Vaughan, a wool merchant, banker and one-time mayor of Bristol, voted on the need for a reading, card and billard room in Clifton.

The Club was prosperous until 1850 when it was then taken up by the Vicar of Christchurch to become a school for working class children and the orginal Club building is still in use today as the Clifton Library.

The Hotel and Assembly Rooms on the Mall in Clifton became the new Club location.  The hotel had been commisioned in 1807 by John Lewis Auriol, a senior merchant of The East India Company.  Auriol built the hotel on his return to England sparing no cost on its opulent interiors.

Local architect J H Hirst who at that time was overseeing the construction of the Fine Arts Academy adjacent to The Victoria Rooms, took on the role of altering the hotel into the new Club, and Francis Howard Greenway was contracted to construct the building.  However, following disputes on this and other projects, Greenway was found guilty of forgery and was deported to New South Wales. Here he blossomed, and is today known as 'the father of Australian architecture'.

In 1918 the entire Clubhouse was handed over to the fledgling Royal Air Force as accomodation for its trainee officers, and during the Second World War, supported the Allied planning staff who were based in Clifton prior to the D-Day landings.

The Club is extremely proud of the heritage endowed by both Greenway and Auriol, and throughout its history alterations to the building have been sympathetically made.  The interior was been tastefully refurbished to include modern facilities, while retaining its traditional elegance and charm.

Famous Members and Club Membership:

Our Club members have also made their mark in history: Nicolas Roche rowed down the Avon in support of Brunel as he surveyed the route for the Great Western Railway.  Charles Pinney was the unfortunate Mayor during the Bristol Riots of 1832 and 'thrice read the Riot Act'.  The premise of The Clifton College was realised here, and W G Grace held members transfixed with tales of cricketing prowess.

We pride ourselves on providing an exlcusive experience for every member from our exquisite dining, business facilities, use of reciprocal clubs and our extensive social calender. Please click here for details on our membership.