Until the 19th century, it was not much more than a country village, but two things brought it to national prominence.
The coming of the railways led to Rugby becoming an important junction, and the associated engineering works brought considerable prosperity.
In addition to this, Rugby School was brought into the top sphere of public schools by the great Dr. Thomas Arnold.
The parish church has a 14th century tower which is believed to have been part of a fortified manor house. It also has a more modern tower and spire. St. Marie’s Catholic Church, with a tall spire, is by Pugin.
Rugby School was founded by Lawrence Sherriff in 1567, and features in the famous novel “Tom Brown’s Schooldays” by Thomas Hughes. The architect of the school chapel was William Butterfield.
It was at Rugby School that Rugby football originated in 1823, when William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it. Today, this world-famous sport has its own museum in the town, and James Gilbert, makers of Rugby balls since 1842, have their shop here.
Rupert Brooke, the First World War poet, was born in Rugby, and there is a statue of him in the town. Also born in Rugby was the astronomer Sir Norman Lockyer.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby lived and worked in Rugby in the early 1980s.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Rugby for groups.