Quick Links In The Section
Bisley Camp has been the home of the National Rifle Association since 1890, when the NRA moved there from Wimbledon Common; it now houses the NRA and two other National Governing Bodies for target shooting, the National Smallbore Rifle Association (NSRA) and the Clay pigeon Shooting Association (CPSA).
Apart from being able to offer a great variety of shooting, Bisley has other advantages. It is the largest range complex in the world within a major centre of population and has few restrictions such as those which now inhibit new ranges being built in populated areas.
A glance at a map will show the ranges and their associated danger areas as an oasis in a near suburban part of the South of England; and an added bonus for all, especially the naturalists, is the abundance of flora and fauna – some of which are unique to the area. The ranges are now a European Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and so protected from modern development.
The National Shooting Centre (NSC) at Bisley has a wide variety of accommodation facilities. These can be let for a short term basis (no longer than 14 days continuously) to the National Rifle Association (NRA) members and non-members in support of shooting activities at Bisley Campmap.
All accommodation is listed on the booking page. We offer a range of different rooms including ensuite with bedding located in the Pavilion.
All camping and caravanning is welcome on site please see our terms and conditions for the rules of the site.
Well behaved dogs are welcome; however no Pets are permitted in any accommodation rooms.
The Museum of the National Rifle Association is located above the main NRA offices. Entry is free although donations are always welcome.
Through the hard work of its curator Ted Molineux and his team of volunteers the NRA Museum has is an incredible asset to the Association, counting hundreds of historic artifacts narrating the rich and colourful history of the NRA.
Tuesdays and Fridays – 9.00am to 3.45pm
(please call prior to attendance)
Visits outside these hours may be possible by prior arrangement
TEL:01483 797 777
History Of Bisley
The National Rifle Association left Wimbledon Common in 1889 and by the following year ranges had been built at Bisley to allow its Imperial Meeting, traditionally held for 2 weeks each July, to take place in conditions far superior by far to those which had prevailed at Wimbledon since the Association’s first Prize Meeting in 1860.
At Wimbledon the ranges had been developed over 30 years. The NRA built temporary office and catering facilities there each year, and many of the competitors and staff lived under canvas, but there were good transport links and services and ample accommodation for the less hardy. Bisley was miles further from London and had nothing. The Council had to buy land, build ranges, provide permanent accommodation, and create the infrastructure. The purchase of land cost over £13,000 and almost exhausted the reserves. The War Office provided working parties from Aldershot to level the ranges and construct the butts.
The wood and canvas offices and Pavilion, and the Clock Tower, were brought from Wimbledon and huts with 40 rooms were built. The London and South Western Railway Company, which operated the Waterloo to Southampton line, built a spur from Brookwood Station to serve the Camp, and the light tramway was relaid to connect Camp and ranges. The original range layout proved its worth in 1890 and its basic outline remains today. For a few years the NRA met the demand for clubhouses and living accommodation by renting out the buildings, but by 1894 the Association was financially overstretched and the policy changed to selling ground leases.
Timeline of Events
A world-class venue
The ranges laid out in 1890/91 are substantially similar to those of today. Stickledown (the long-distance range) was extended from 24 to 40 targets in 1903 (later 50), and the greatest distance was increased from 1100 to 1200 yards in 1910. Century was so named in 1903 when the Great Butt was widened from 90 to 100 targets (now 108). These two very large ranges and the associated danger areas provide a framework for the siting of smaller, specialist ranges, and have proved adaptable for many new types of shooting disciplines which have evolved in the 100 years since they were designed.
Most recently, Bisley hosted all the shooting events for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Brand new formal clay facilities were constructed and the Lord Roberts Centre was built to house a smallbore rifle range and press facilities. On the 300m range it is now possible to shoot using the latest electronic targetry.
Set in 3000 acres of Surrey heathland some 30 miles from Central London, Bisley has the unique combination of the best, most modern, and largest arrangement of shooting facilities in the world combined with colonial-style clubhouses.
Modern facilities set in a Victorian / Edwardian time warp
Bisley, apart from being able to offer a great variety of shooting, has other advantages. It is the largest range complex in the world within a major centre of population and has few restrictions such as those which now inhibit new ranges being built in populated areas. A glance at a map will show the ranges and their associated danger areas as an oasis in a near suburban part of the South of England; and an added bonus for all, especially the naturalists, is the abundance of flora and fauna – some of which are unique to the area. The ranges are now a European Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and so protected from modern development.
It is in large part a Victorian and Edwardian time warp. Nearly all the original buildings survive and a recent massive restoration programme has put most of them in good order and to good use. Relatively little has been built since 1914 to spoil the charm of the Camp; and such as may be built hereafter must be in keeping with the older buildings now that the bulk of the Camp is formally designated a Conservation Area. Visitors from home and overseas have agreed that Bisley Camp has a special appeal. The Council of the NRA is well aware of this sentiment that does much to distinguish Bisley from ranges or shooting centres elsewhere in the world, and has resolved to maintain it so, in contrast to the inevitable brick or steel or concrete of modern constructions.