A brief history

Bisley Camp has been the home of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and numerous other rifle and clay shooting clubs for over 128 years. This rich and intriguing history has evolved over time with Queen Victoria opening the first annual rifle meeting at Wimbledon back in 1860. She fired the inaugural shot at the first rifle meeting on 2nd July that year and this event is still very much alive in the form of the annual Prize Meeting (the Imperial) which includes the Queen’s Prize.

Bisley Camp itself is an historic location with many fine examples of Colonial style architecture and a plethora of traditional lodge buildings taking the visitor back to a long-gone era. The estate has over 3000 acres with an abundance of natural woodland, which is home to many protected species on a site of special scientific interest. It has many native songbirds, one of which has been chosen for our new Sporting Ground Mascot, The Dartford Warbler. You may even be lucky enough to see one of the large herd of red deer that currently enjoy sharing the site with us.

The Council Mess House

The Council Mess House

On Wimbledon Common (later the Staff Pavilion).

Bisley is one of the oldest shooting facilities in the world, and one of the most well-known, with our clubhouse and shooting grounds steeped in tradition and surrounded by nature.

Our Clubhouse

Our clubhouse ‘The Council Club’, has a unique and exciting history which began on the NRA’s ranges back when they were situated on Wimbledon Common. The Council Club (originally known as the Council Mess House and later the Staff Pavilion until the move to Bisley in 1890), was constructed at the NRA ‘Farm’ on Wimbledon Common in 1885. It was designed by Major Waller (a member of the NRA Council) and constructed under the supervision of Captain John Hoey (the NRA’s Clerk of works) by Mr Terry the chief carpenter. It was transferred to Bisley in 1890 and erected there on a permanent basis. The name was changed to the ‘Council Club’ at that time. Additions were soon made to add more accommodation. The Council Club has been modernised and upgraded many times over the years, whilst retaining its heritage and preserving of all its historic features. The Council Club today still enjoys the feel and nostalgia of an inviting English country lodge.

Council Club

Council Club

Watercolour of the Council Club now situated in Bisley.