The Club

The Cardiff and County Club was founded in 1866 and was opened in premises immediately adjacent to the Royal Hotel extending from a frontage on St Mary Street to a rear facade on Westgate Street. At that time the Club shared a kitchen with the Royal Hotel and indeed was commonly called the Hotel Club. It is said that two women cannot happily share a kitchen and it certainly proved to be the case that the kitchen shared between the Hotel and the Club was a matter of constant dispute. In 1873 the Club decided to move to other premises which were in fact immediately next door to the previous premises. The new building was designed for the Club which moved in during March 1876 and the building can still be seen as part of The Royal Hotel frontage.

The reasons for the next move are not entirely clear as the Club's records for the period have been destroyed. Contemporary press reports are inaccurate in that they refer to the Club as severing its connection with the Royal Hotel in 1890, an event which had of course taken place 14 years before. It is clear that the Club's third building, in which it still remains, is substantially larger than the second building and it is quite likely that there was a need for more space. The first Club building was taken over by the Royal Hotel of which it remains a part. The second building was sold to the Wilts and Dorset Banking Co which converted it into a bank which subsequently became a branch of Lloyds until that closed and the building is now again a club –but of a rather different type.

The present building was opened in 1892 and is now listed as an historic building, representative as it is of late Victorian opulence. The Club has always been patronised by both businesspeople and members of the professions. The first President was a Cardiff solicitor whose great grandson is currently a Trustee of the Club. Upon the demise of the Exchange Club, which was located in Cardiff Docks, many of the former members of that club joined the Cardiff and County Club which, even previously, had many shipping magnates as members.

The Club has necessarily had a close relationship with its immediate neighbour, the Cardiff Arms Park, and more recently the Millennium Stadium, and is never more fully used than on a Rugby International days.

For detailed Histories of the Club read “Cardiff and County Club 1866 to 1991” by Arthur Weston Evans and "Always Amongst Friends" by Dr Andrew Hignell. The latter was commissioned as part of the Club's 150th Anniversary Celebrations in 2016.