Lowther Lodge was designed by Richard Norman Shaw and built between approximately 1872 and 1875. The client was William Lowther, an MP who was a nephew of the Earl of Lonsdale, the head of the Lowther landowning family of Westmorland and Cumberland.
After Lowther died in 1912 his son sold the house to the Royal Geographical Society. The Society converted the building into its headquarters and commissioned extensions, including the Society's lecture theatre, from G. L. Kennedy and F. B. Nightingale in 1928 to 1930. A further extension, including a new exhibition space, reading room and storage area for the Society's collections, was completed in 2004.