Rugby School © TAB
A smart midlands market town, with wide tree lined streets, that date back some 2000 years. The town's development accelerated during the later stages of the industrial revolution, when it became an important railway and heavy engineering centre.
The town has a pleasant pedestrianised shopping centre. Its market place is lined with many fine buildings, including the 14th-c Church of St Andrew, one of few churches in England with a double peal of bells. The clock tower was built to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887. Markets are usually held every Monday, Friday and Saturday.
Rugby private school has produced a long list of prize pupils, including Salman Rushdie, C. L. Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Matthew Arnold, Neville Chamberlain, Rupert Brooke, Wyndham Lewis and Thomas Hughes, who wrote Tom Brown's Schooldays. A granite plaque commemorates the exploits of its most honourable pupil "William Webb Ellis", who originated the game of rugby football here in 1823. His statue is also visible outside the school.
Monument to Tom Brown's School Days © TAB
Several stone monuments, dedicated to Rugby's literary scholars, can be found in the gardens of the Percival Guildhouse and the Jubilee Gardens, (carved by Michael Scheuermann).
The peaceful meandering Oxford Canal, once an important highway for trade goods before the arrival of the railways, is today only used for pleasure boating. It crosses the River Avon near the centre of town via a brick built aqueduct (Brownsover Aqueduct).
The firm that produces Gilbert rugby balls began in a small shoe shop near Rugby School. It now contains a sports shop and the rugby museum with some early memorabilia of the game. On display are the some of the oldest rugby balls, which are larger and rounder than modern balls.
Opening times: 9:30am
to 5pm (closed Sun & BH) - Free Entry
Location: 5-6 St Matthews St, Rugby CV21 3BY
Tel: 01788 567777
This purpose built facility is a civic hub, containing a library, an art gallery with regular displays of contemporary art and a museum with collections of Roman and other local historical artifacts. The centre also houses the Rugby Visitor Centre and the World Rugby Hall of Fame.
Those interested in sporting nostalgia can follow the Rugby Pathway of Fame, which starts near the entrance and follows a series of informative plaques around the town, each dedicated to a famous player or historical event in the history of the game. There is also a historic town trail route, which covers the town's Saxon beginnings to the present day.
Opening times: daily
10am to 5pm - Free Entry
Location: Little Elborow St, Rugby CV21 3BZ
Tel: 01788 533217
Traditional town park located in the centre of Rugby, with mature trees, floral displays and a children's play area.
The reserve consists mainly of grassland, marsh areas, water and forested trails. The disused Brownsover Canal Arm runs through it (shown here). Its flat wide pathways are designed for easy access.
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