The Wellesley Club has a proud tradition dating back to 1891. Its magnificent collection of members' caricatures, which grace the walls of the Members' Lounge, (by now famous artists such as McIntyre and Hunt) is in many ways a pictorial history of the eminent persons who shaped the face of Wellington and indeed, New Zealand. What interesting conversations within these cloistered walls!
The Wellesley Club is steeped in Wellington tradition and history. The Club is named after Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, the architect of the British victory at the Battle of Waterloo.
It was the Duke of Wellington who sponsored Wakefield's New Zealand Company, in its settlement of Wellington. Hence the name of our City. It is indeed a rare privilege for the Club to be allowed to bear the Wellesley family's Coat of Arms.
The building itself, which has a Historic Places Category 1 listing, is undoubtedly one of the finest examples of neo-Georgian architecture in New Zealand. Built in 1929 and designed by Gray Young as a dedicated club building, it won the prestigious Institute of Architects Gold Medal. The building is a heritage treasure with its wonderful timber panelling and plasterwork, stunning collection of art and memorabilia and restful proportions.
In 1997 it was beautifully restored by the present owners who, with the help of Members, maintain this wonderful asset.
Today as a Member, the Wellesley Club can be your Home away from Home in the central business district. You inherit a wonderful tradition and can always be sure of a warm welcome, especially by the fire - still the only working open fire place in central Wellington.