Rugby

…the market town in Warwichshire, not the game. We were there visiting family this weekend.

Rugby is probably most famous for Rugby School, founded in 1567, where, William Webb Ellis is purported to have invented the game in 1823. The school is the setting for Tom Brown’s Schooldays by Thomas Hughes. The most recent television adaption of the story, starring Stephen Fry as Dr Thomas Arnold, was filmed largely on location in Rugby School.One of Rugby’s famous pupils was Lewis Carroll aka Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (b. Jan. 27, 1832, Daresbury, Cheshire, Eng.–d. Jan. 14, 1898, Guildford, Surrey),

He disliked his four years at public school, principally because of his innate shyness, although he was also subjected to a certain amount of bullying; he also endured several illnesses, one of which left him deaf in one ear.

Rupert Brooke [again!] was born in Rugby, where his father was a master at the school. Brooke’s birthplace and his widowed mother’s house are on The Blue Plaque Trail.

Virtual Tour of Rugby School.

On previous visits we have been to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum. The Tripontium collection is at Rugby Museum.

Tripontium was a small Roman town situated approximately four miles east of Rugby and four miles west of Lutterworth, on the Roman road later called Watling Street (A5). The name means ‘place of three bridges’. Its existence spans the time between 1st and 4th centuries AD.

We have often dined at The Dun Cow, Dunchurch.

Dunchurch is located south of Rugby and just a short distance from the pleasures of the Oxford Canal. It was once famous as a stopping point for the coach travellers of the 18th century, but is even more famous as the Gun Powder Plot Village, for it was here, at the Old Red Lion Inn, the conspirators of the plot met on 5th November, 1605 to await news of Guy Fawkes success. Today, the Old Red Lion still exists, but it is transformed into a charming private residence known as Guy Fawkes House.

This time, we dined in Rugby town itself, after a drink at The Merchants Inn. [NB: Even their website is uncertain as to whether the pub name refers to a single merchant, or merchants plural, therefore dispensing with an apostophe altogether!]

On the Sunday morning, we went for a walk around Draycote Water.

Images

Draycote Water, Warwickshire’s largest reservoir was created in the 1960’s. Not only does it provide drinking water for Rugby, it is renowned for its Country Park, which is a haven for wildlife with plenty of bird habitation, making it a Mecca for bird watchers from the rural Heart of England. The park’s bird hide and feeding station is sponsored by the West Midland Bird Club. To give visitors an idea of the size and scope of Draycote Water, the Country Park covers some 600 acres and the reservoir holds up to a staggering 5,000 million gallons of water.

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