Oxford and Cambridge Club

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Oxford and Cambridge Club
Oxford and Cambridge Club
The Club house
Former namesThe United University Club (1821), The Oxford and Cambridge University Club (1830)
General information
Address71-77 Pall Mall
Town or cityLondon
Technical details
Floor count4
Design and construction
ArchitectSir Robert Smirke
Other information
Number of rooms44
Number of suites3
Official website

The Oxford and Cambridge Club is a traditional London Club. The Club is the result of a number of amalgamations of university clubs, most recently that of 1972 between the United University Club, founded in 1821, and the Oxford and Cambridge University Club, founded in 1830. From 1972 until 2001 the Club was known as the United Oxford and Cambridge University Club, in 2001 it reverted to its original name of the Oxford and Cambridge Club. In June 2017 the Club elected its first female Chair.


Membership, which is by election, is open to those people who have received a degree or honorary degree from either the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge, have been granted MA status or have been admitted as a full member of a college or hall in either university, or are members of the Congregation of the University of Oxford or the Regent House of the University of Cambridge. One of the ways in which the Club fosters its relationship with the two Universities is by offering honorary membership for their terms of office to the vice chancellors and heads of house.

The club's separate membership policies for men and women came under attack in the mid-1990s. In February 1995, a statement signed by the heads of more than 70 Oxford and Cambridge colleges, two vice chancellors, and Oxford's chancellor, declared that the two universities were disassociating from the Club "because of what they call[ed] its 'offensive' and 'discriminatory' policies to women".[1] Dr Peter North, the vice chancellor of Oxford, stated at the time that the "'university council has asked the law department to consider our legal position in relation to the use of the universities' names and our coats of arms'".[2] Four months later, the club voted to allow lady associate members "access to the main staircase and the library", provided they pay an extra fee of £100.[3] In February 1996, members of the club voted to admit women as full members. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark became the club's first Honorary Lady Member in 1997.[4]

Club House and Facilities[edit]

The Club house, a Grade II* listed building, was designed for the Oxford and Cambridge University Club by Sir Robert Smirke (perhaps best known for the British Museum). It opened to members in 1838. The facade is an important example of the Greek revival style with which Smirke was particularly associated. In 1952 the Club extended its premises to incorporate the neighbouring house, 77 Pall Mall, formerly the home of Princess Marie Louise, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Facilities available to members include bedrooms, an opulent Coffee Room (the traditional name for the principal dining room), serving breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, two bars, two squash courts, a billiard room, a well-maintained library of over 20,000 books, with its own librarian, a roof terrace and a small business area. The Club arranges social, literary and sporting events. Members may also hire the Club’s function rooms for social or business purposes.

Data theft[edit]

In November 2017, a backup computer drive containing the personal details of 5000 of the club's members, among them Stephen Fry and Martin Rees, was stolen from a locked room inside the premises. The information stored on it is said to include names, home addresses, phone numbers and some bank details.[5][6]

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sanders, Claire (27 February 1995). "Oxbridge club mum on women". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 7 October 2013.
  2. ^ Boggan, Steve (23 February 1995). "Oxbridge could sue London club over sexist rules". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  3. ^ Moyes, Jojo (14 June 1995). "Oxbridge club votes to let women step up". The Independent. Retrieved 19 February 2011.
  4. ^ Lee, Paul (2012). Vignettes: Musings and Reminiscences of a Modern Renaissance Man. iUniverse. p. 148. ISBN 147595655X.
  5. ^ "Oxford and Cambridge club members face hard disk theft". BBC News. 27 November 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  6. ^ Mendick, Robert (25 November 2017). "Oxford and Cambridge Club hit by data thieves". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Thole, John (1992). The Oxford and Cambridge Clubs in London. Henley-on-Thames: Alfred Waller. ISBN 1-872474-01-2.
  • Lejeune, Anthony, with Lewis, Malcolm: The Gentlemen's Clubs of London, 1st edition by MacDonald & Janes, 1979, reprinted 1984 and 1987. ISBN 0-946495-14-9

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′20″N 0°08′11″W / 51.5056°N 0.1365°W / 51.5056; -0.1365