National Security & Resilience Conference

Rifles Club

The Rifles Club, London

In 1889 the present site, formerly occupied by the Grosvenor Market, was made available to the St. George’s Rifles, one of the Rifle Volunteer Corps formed in 1859, for use as a drill hall. The then Duke of Westminster granted a lease at a pepper-corn rent for ninety-nine years, a term which he subsequently extended to two hundred years.

davies street

The building was opened by The Duchess of Westminster on 6 December 1890. It included a drill hall, armoury, gymnasium, mess room and officers’ rooms. The lively elevation of red brick and stone, with its curious copper-covered cupola, was a prominent feature of Davies Street until the building was almost totally destroyed by bombing in 1940.

The present drill hall was built in the early 1950s for the Queen Victoria’s Rifles (King’s Royal Rifle Corps) which had been formed from the amalgamation of the St. George’s with the Victoria Rifles and other battalions. Its restrained neo-classical elevation is in marked contrast to its predecessor and pays respect to its early-Victorian neighbours at Nos. 52-54 (which had been taken over by the Queen Victoria’s Rifles. In 1949). As a result of further unit amalgamations the buildings were occupied by the Fourth (Volunteer) Battalion of the Royal Green Jackets.

Davies Street is now the TA Centre for F Company 7 Rifles and host of the NS&R Challenge Dinner