The Cambridge Union is the globally renowned debating society of Cambridge University. Its exact origin remains steeped in legend, but as the story goes, the Union was founded in 1815 at the conclusion of a drunken brawl between several smaller college debating societies. The "union" of the three societies provided the basis for the name 'The Cambridge Union Society.' In 1866 the Union moved into its current home, located behind the Round Church. It was designed by Alfred Waterhouse, who laid out the debating chamber, today lined with prints and photographs of past Presidents, in a similar manner to those in the Houses of Parliament. Famous speakers include Sir Winston Churchill, Clint Eastwood, Sir John Major and President Theodore Roosevelt. The Union owns one oil painting, a portrait by Lowes Cato Dickinson of Oscar Browning. Whilst an undergraduate, Browning was President of the Union, and later became its thoroughly ineffective Treasurer.
The coffee shop at the Union is open to both members and non-members Monday to Saturday from 10am to 4pm.