On 22nd June 2022 Members and guests of The Chelsea Society enjoyed a private visit to The Reform Club.
The Club was founded in 1836 by a group of Radicals, Whigs and Irish Reformers to carry forward the process of parliamentary reform begun by the great Reform Act of 1832 which,
by abolishing the rotten boroughs and extending the franchise, took the first crucial steps in the country’s advance towards full democracy.
The alliance developed into the mid-Victorian Liberal Party and the Club became a focal point of Liberalism from which the party whips co-ordinated the fighting of elections, served
constituency organisations and recruited potential MPs. After 1886, when the party split over Irish Home Rule, the Club ceased to play an active part in politics and today it is a
social club with an excellent library but without political affiliations. It has about 2,50 members.
The Clubhouse was designed by Charles Barry, later the architect of the Houses of Parliament, and was opened in 1841. From the outset it was recognised as an architectural masterpiece. Inspired by the Palazzo Farnese and other Roman palaces, it led to the renaissance architectural revival of High Victorian times. It is a Grade I Listed Building.