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Timeline

Year                                                        Event[MB1]      

1086      ‘Domesday Book’ Survey was carried out. The overlords of the land in Rugby and the nearby district were:

(a)     Thorkell of Arden who held Rugby (spelt ‘Rocheberie’), Cawston (spelt ‘Calvestone’), Little Lawford (spelt Lilleford) and part of Bilton (spelt ‘Bentone’).

(b)     Osbern Fitz Richard, son of Richard Fitz Scrope of Richard’s Castle, Herefordshire, who held Dunchurch (spelt ‘Donecerce’.)

(c)     The Count of Meulan who held most of Hillmorton (spelt ‘Mortone’). The remainder was held by Hugh of Grandmesnil and Richard the Forester.

(d)     Earl Aubrey who held Clifton upon Dunsmore (spelt ‘Cliptone’), having wrongly annexed it from Coventry Church.

(e)     Geoffrey of La Guerche who held Newbold on Avon (spelt ‘Newebold’), Long Lawford (spelt ‘Lelleford’) and Brownsover (spelt ‘Gavra’).

(f)      Earl Roger who held Church Lawford (spelt ‘Leileford’) and a part of Bilton (spelt’Biltone’).

1140       First mention of St Andrew’s Church in Rugby.

1221       Simon the Decon (Deacon) is the first known priest in Rugby. Henry de Rokeby makes arrangement with Leicester Abbey, so Henry can appoint subsequent priests, a major step towards becoming a separate parish.

1255       Market charter granted to Rugby by a statute of Henry III (to Sir Henry de Rokeby).

This was for a weekly market on Saturdays and a yearly fair from 9th to 11th August.

1298       Rugby Parish Rectory income assessed as £5 per year.

1327       Manor of Rugby granted the right to hold a Court Leet.

1349       Ralph, Lord Stafford purchased the manor of Rugby and advowson of St Andrew’s.

1460       Humphrey Stafford, 1st Duke of Buckingham, died, holding the Manor of Rugby. His 2nd son Henry inherited.

1483       Manor of Rugby in the dower of Countess of Richmond, widow of Sir Henry Stafford, and mother of Henry VII.

1484       Rugby manor confiscated from Countess of Richmond by Richard III.

1485       Rugby manor restored by Henry VII to his mother, the Countess of Richmond.

1508       The will of Richard Fosterd founded a charity to maintain bridges over the Avon in Rugby and Newbold. (Some sources give the date as 1558.)

c1515     Lawrence Sheriff born in Rugby.

1521       Rugby manor granted by Crown to Sir Gilbert Talboys.

1558       (Alternative date for creation of Fosterd Bridge Charity – see 1508).

1560       Lady Elizabeth Dudley sold the manor of Rugby and advowson to John Wyrley.

1562       69 households attended St Andrews in Rugby. (This excludes recusant Catholics and dissenting Protestants.)

1567       Lawrence Sheriff dies and leaves a London estate to fund a Grammar School (now Rugby School) and 4 Almshouses for old men.

1594       Richard and Susannah Burnabye purchased the manor of Rugby and advowson for £2,100.

1632       James Nalton, a noted Puritan preacher, was appointed as Rugby rector.

1634       A serious fire and an outbreak of plague occurred in Rugby.

1642       Charles I passed through Rugby.

1645       Large force of Parliamentarians and Cromwell quartered in Rugby about two months before Battle of Naseby.

1652       Extra rates collected towards costs of repairs to Rugby Parish church.

1660       Four tradesmen in Rugby struck copper tokens for local money circulation, due to shortage of official coins. (Tokens banned by Statute in 1676.)

1662       The George Inn built in Market Place, Rugby.

1663       Hearth tax in Rugby applied to 94 houses containing a total of 213 hearths; a further 66 small houses, with one hearth each, were exempt from the tax.

1669       Bennfield House (“Bennfields”) built in North Street, Rugby.

1688       Drury Lane was known as Tinkers Lane at this time.

1690       King William III passed through Hillmorton and Rugby on his way to Ireland, previous to the Battle of the Boyne

1707       Richard Elborowe founded a Charity School and almshouses in High Street, Rugby, shortly before his death.

1710       Severe smallpox epidemic in Rugby resulting in 53 burials, normally less than 20.

1716       Serious fire in Rugby.

1719       Another serious fire in Rugby.

1720       William Boughton of Bilton (1682-1720) purchased the rights & privileges of the Manor of Rugby from Frances Burnaby.

                Henry Plowman of Northampton purchased the manorial estate of Rugby from Frances Burnaby.

                The rights & privileges of the Manor of Rugby were bequeathed by William Boughton on his death to his sister in law, Ann Boughton (d. 1729).

1721       Rugby rates accounts mention the ducking stool.

1725       Henry Beighton (1687-1743) produced an outstanding map of Warwickshire, scale 1 inch to 1 mile, one of the first in England to be based upon trigonometrical survey methods.

1729       William Boughton (1718 – 46) succeeded to the Manor of Rugby on the death of his mother, Ann.

Boughton House was built in North Street by Edward Boughton of Cawston for his daughter, Judith, and her husband Thomas Harris.

1730       Rugby had 183 houses and a population of 900.

1738       More Rugby town fires.

1744       The common animal pound adjoining Langley's Barn (near the present School Science Room) was transferred to the Butts (Union Street fields).

1746       Edward Boughton (1742 – 46) succeeded to the Manor of Rugby on the death of his father, William Boughton.

                Anna Boughton (1746 – 77) became the infant Lady of Rugby Manor following the death of her brother, Edward.

1748       The old Rugby Manor house on the present site of Rugby School, was bought by theSchool Trustees from Mrs Rebecca Pennington, daughter of Henry Plowman.

1750       Rugby School moved to a new large school room that had been added to the old Rugby Manor House.

1765       Anna Boughton married Alexander Hume (d. 1794, Enfield, Middx). They levied a “fine” to allow him to become the Lord of the Manor of Rugby.

1767       Lord Craven bought advowson of Parish church; the church was re-pewed.

1769       Original workhouse for parish of Rugby opened in North Street.

1774       1560 acres of open fields in Rugby Parish were enclosed and divided up under an Act of 1773.

1775       Fire Engine given to Rugby by Henry Wilson.

1781       Inquest of Sir Theodosius Boughton at the 'Bear and Ragged Staff Inn’. Capt Donellan was hanged for his murder.

1783       Lawrence Sheriff’s 'Mansion House', the original school site, pulled down and four new almshouses were erected.

1791       William Butlin, draper of Rugby died this year aged 61. His widow, Ann, acquired the banking business of Samuel Clay in that year and traded as A Butlin & Son.

1792       Organ from Norton-by-Galby, Leicestershire, built by Bernard Smith, bought for £395 for Parish church.

1794       Abraham Hume (1769 – 1846), of Bilton Grange, became the Lord of the Manor of Rugby on the death of his father, Alexander.

1796       Hewitt’s windmill, located near to the present day Avon Street, off Newbold Road, was totally destroyed by fire.

1797       South Aisle of Parish Church enlarged to the east.

1801       Abraham Caldecott (1763-1829) purchased the rights and privileges of the Lord of the Manor of Rugby from his nephew Abraham Hume.

1803       Baptist Church built at the corner of Gas Street and Castle Street by Sir Egerton Leigh (1762-1818).

1809       School House built on the site of the old Manor House (see entries for 1748 & 1750).

1814       Rugby School boys ceased to attend Parish church due to insufficient room; they used Great School instead, until School Chapel was built.

Bear & Ragged Staff Inn converted to house and shop by Mr Voile.

1816       Punishment by pillory abolished, it stood near the corner of the George Inn in Market Place.

                Old Big Side playing field created from three smaller fields at Rugby School.

1818       10 parishes, including Rugby, formed a poor law union and built a new workhouse in Lower Hillmorton Road to accommodate 130.

                Rugby Bank for Savings established. It catered for the savings of “the prudent and frugal” and was secured by the personal funds of its trustees.

1819       Building of Rugby School chapel started (completed in 1821).

1823       Wesleyan (Methodist) Chapel erected in Chapel Street (Swan St), replacing chapel in Harrals Court off Drury Lane.

William Webb Ellis reputedly introduced running with the ball into Rugby School football.

Rowell & Sons established first printing press in Rugby by printing a pamphlet for the Bible Society.

1825       The Rev. John Moultrie MA (1799-1874) was appointed Rector of St Andrew’s Parish Church.

1826       Thomas Caldecott (1798 -1875) takes over from his father as Lord of the Manor.

1828       Dr Thomas Arnold appointed Head Master of Rugby School.

Another four Lawrence Sheriff almshouses built and the earlier eight were renovated in line with the new ones. Each almshouse was also given a porch.

1830       South aisle of parish church enlarged further, requiring Richard Elborowe and wife to be re-interred in a new grave.

Malin’s Pool, in Warwick Street between Union Street and Bilton Road, filled in.

Caldecott (later Trinity) School built in Church Street on the site of the horse pool, opposite the Squirrel Inn, the gift of Thomas Caldecott.

First formal planning application made for the London-Birmingham railway.

1832       Cholera epidemic in Rugby.

1833       Henry Giffney's map of Rugby & adjoining parishes published; scale 2.95 inch to 1 mile – 1:21,478.

1834       Old 304ft contour Oxford Canal improved by building new sections removing the longer loops from the main route, saving 13 miles between Napton and Coventry.

1835       National Provincial Bank was the first of the multiple banks to set up in the town by opening in Market Place.

1836       New Rugby Poor Law Union formed with 39 parishes.

1837       First street lamp posts erected in Rugby, with oillamps!

Miss Day's boarding and day school established in Little Church Street.

1838       Rugby Gas Company formed with a Capital of 150 £20 shares; its first gas works built in Railway Terrace.

London & Birmingham Railway opened with Rugby’s first station beside the bridge in Newbold Road.

1839       Gas street- lighting was introduced in the town, with 47 lamps.

Queen Adelaide (widow of King William IV) visits Rugby School on 21st Oct.

1840       Midland Counties Railway opened and Rugby became a junction. A new station built with access by Railway Terrace.

                Knightlow Constabulary formed, replacing parish constables in the Hundred of Knightlow (including Rugby).

1841       St Matthew's Church built, as district church in St Andrew’s Parish.

Primitive Methodist Church built on corner of Queen and Russell Streets.

College for the Deaf and Dumb opened in Castle Street by Mr Henry Brothers Bingham (1801-75).

1842       Dr Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby School died.

W I Tait set up his own printing press in Rugby.

                William Gilbert (rugby ball maker) moves to a new building in St Matthew’s Street from 19 High Street.

1844       Rugby Cricket club formed, playing first match in a field off Bilton Road.

1845       St Matthew's Elementary School opened in Pennington Street.

First Catholic Mission opened at 7 Chapel Street.

1846       First edition of Rugby Advertiser was published with cover price of 1d by W.I.Tait.

Last meeting of the Rugby Court Leet was held.

Worst streets of Rugby were drained by the Parish highway surveyors.

The town was provided with a new manual fire engine in October.

George Inn in Market Place demolished and rebuilt as George Hotel.

1847       St Marie’s Catholic Church built.

Trent Valley Railway opened between Rugby and Stafford.

Queen Victoria and family stop at Rugby Station while her train changes engines. This was observed by large numbers of townspeople.

1848       Rugby Benefit Building & Investment Society established in High Street.

1849       Rugby Board of Health formed. (Rugby and Croydon were the first towns to create a Local Board under the Public Health Act of 1848.)

St Marie’s church was opened by Bishop Wiseman.

                The Wesleyans opened a day school behind their chapel in Chapel Street.

A detailed map of Rugby Parish was published at a scale of about 1:4874 (13 inches to a mile). It may have been surveyed by Frederick Wood (c1807 – 1893).

1850       Post Office moved about this year from High Street near to the north corner of Chapel Street.

                Rugby to Market Harborough railway line opened.

Catherine Butlin endowed six almshouses in Stephen Street for ‘six poor women of Rugby’.

1851       Rugby to Leamington Railway opened on Saturday, February 22, 1851.

Ordnance Survey large scale town plan produced by Capt. Beatty R.E.

Haswell’s brickyard recorded as being on Dunchurch Road below Catholic Church.

1852       St Matthew's School build premises for older children in Bridget Street; infants remained at Pennington Street.

105 foot high water tower in Barby Road was brought into use. Its capacity was 56,000 gallons.

1853       Count William Ferdinand Wratislaw, solicitor, (b 1788) died.

                G H Walker of Newbold purchased the Victoria Quarry at New Bilton.

                New Rugby Divisional Police Station and Lock Up erected in Plowman Street.

                Miss Frances Nicholson opened a school for girls in Warwick Street,

1854       Holy Trinity completed to designs by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Town Hall Company Ltd formed.

1856       Richard Elborowe's school and almshouses moved in May to Hill Street and St John Street respectively, when their original site in High Street was purchased for building of Town Hall.

Mr Hopewell’s Ilminster Academy, Classical & Commercial School, opened in Albert Street; it relocated from Edgeworth Cottage (North Street).

Temperance Society formed.

1857       Rugby Flour and Bread Co Ltd established.

Rugby Gazette first published on 20th May by Thomas Rogers and Anthony Thomas Read, with a cover price of 2d.

Warwickshire Constabulary formed providing cover for the whole county except certain boroughs which retained their separate forces.

Miss Nicholson’s School for Girls moves to larger premises, Irton Craig, in Newbold Road.

1858       Town Hall and Corn Exchange (with indoor market) opened in High Street (cost about £6,500).

1859       Volunteer Rifle Company formed.

                Alterations to the buildings by the north corner of Market Place and Chapel Street left the Post Office on the corner of Chapel Street and the property of the Crown.

1860       St Matthew's Church enlarged.

Catherine Butlin’s Almshouse Charity was further endowed by her will when she died in December 1859.

1861       A regular cab stand established in Market Place.

First Rugby Working Men's club formed at Eagle Hotel, but short lived.

1862       Rugby Benefit & Building Investment Society re-formed as Rugby Provident Permanent Benefit Building Society.

The Rugby Co-operative Society Ltd established, opening a store in North Street shortly afterwards.

Richard Lindon, bootmaker of High Street and later of Lawrence Sheriff St, introduced footballs with india rubber   bladders.

1863       Rugby Waterworks Act allows extraction of water from River Avon at new works in Mill Lane.

Clifton Road Cemetery opened in November 1863.

1864       Enlargement of St Marie’s by Edward Pugin completed.

                St Oswald’s, New Bilton opened as a mission chapel to St Mark’s, Bilton.

Rugby Savings Bank closed due to the introduction of Government secured Post Office Savings Banks.

1865       Congregationalists hold their first services in Town Hall.

                Rugby Gazette sold to James Kenning.

                G H Walker opened the Rugby Clay, Lime, Cement, & Brick Co Ltd at New Bilton.

1866       Rugby Benefit Building Society established; it traded as the Rugby Freehold Land Society.

                The Sanitary Act of this year compelled local authorities to improve local conditions and remove health hazards.

1867       Congregational Church built in Albert Street.

Rugby Football Club formed.

St Oswald’s, New Bilton, becomes a separate parish.

1868       Public Schools Act passed by Parliament.

National Provincial Bank moves to Church Street; it became the National Westminster in 1970 and then the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2000.

The multiple bank Lloyds Banking Company sets up in Rugby having taken over the local bankof A Butlin & Son.

1869       The nursing house in Pennington Street, with 6 beds for the sick and injured of Miss Frances Nicholson’s school, was opened to the public.

Methodist Church opened in Market Place; the Chapel Street building was taken over by its day school.

The rights and privileges (inc. market rights) of the Lord of the Manor were surrendered to the Local Board of Health.

Thomas Hunter established in Mill Road as a railway wagon builder and repairer.

1870       Parish church ceased to ring “the Curfew Bell" at 5am and 8pm.

Statute fair moves to Reynolds Field, east of Trinity Church.

Co-operative Society store moves to Chapel Street site.

New gas works opened in Wood Street on September 20th.

1871       Old Star Inn demolished. It projected beyond the building line and restricted entry into Warwick Street.

Rugby Gazette renamed Rugby Gazette and Midland Times.

The Rugby Football Union founded.

1872       St Marie’s new tower and spire completed (200ft high).

The Pennington Street nursing house moves to the former Deaf and Dumb College in Castle Street, and becomes the Rugby Hospital and Nursing House.

Rugby Blue Lias Cement and Brick Co. re-founded as the Rugby Portland Cement Co. Ltd.

A new Working Men’s Club opened in Castle Street. (It closed in 1879).

1873       Rugby Football Club affiliates to Rugby Football Union.

Rugby Flour and Bread Co. flour mill in New Bilton burnt down.

1874       Smallpox outbreak in Rugby. Isolation Hospital built near the water tower in Barby Road.

                Rev J. Moultrie MA died from smallpox after ministering to the sick at the Isolation Hospital.

Whitehall Road recreation ground purchased by the Local Board for a cattle market site, but never used as such.

1875       Rugby Volunteer Fire Brigade formed.

Rugby Gas Company converted to Rugby Gas Light and Coke Co, with capital of £50,000.

St Matthew’s became a separate parish.

1876       Rugby now has a continuous supply of water. Most street pumps and wells abolished.

Rugby Lawn Tennis club formed at Rugby Cricket Club ground.

The manual fire engine was removed from Warwick Street to a new fire station in the Board of Health’s yard in Russell Street.

1877       Cabmen’s shelter erected in Market Place.

Dr Temple laid foundation stone of Primitive Methodist chapel in Railway Terrace, replacing Queen Street building.

St Andrew’s Parish Church rebuilt to William Butterfield’s design.

The Whitehall Recreation Ground, ’The Rec’, was opened in Hillmorton Road. (see entry for 1874.)

1878       Lawrence Sheriff Lower School opened to maintain free education of local boys under terms of Rugby School Act so main school could become fully fee paying.

                Cattle Market moved to Craven Road site near to Railway Station.

Rugby’s turnpike trusts disbanded and toll gates removed.

A rugby football match between Rugby & Lutterworth was played under electric light.

New railway engine sheds built (to hold 125 locos).

There were 188 gas-lit street lights.

1879       The old Whitehall demolished.

Campbell’s Coffee Tavern opened in the former Working Men’s Club in Castle Street.

A National school was built in New Bilton for 200 children.

1881       Northampton loop-line opened, forming sixth route from Rugby.

St Oswald’s church enlarged to designs by Bodley and Garner.

Severe gale uprooted several elm trees in School Close.

Baptist Chapel in Castle Street rebuilt in September to provide more capacity.

Rugby Corset Company formed with capital of £5000.

Campbell’s Coffee Tavern moved to Church Street, beside Church Walk.

1882       St Andrew’s (Murray) Boys school opened off Bath Street.

Start of building of St Cross Hospital.

The Corset Company opened a factory in Spring Street.

Rugby Gas Light & Coke Company re-incorporated by Act of Parliament. It was renamed the Rugby Gas Co.

Rugby Football Club move to present ground off Bilton Road, (now known as Webb Ellis Road).

Salvation Army starts meeting in Albert Hall, Albert Street (in former roller skating rink).

1883       Wesleyan Chapel built in Cambridge Street at a cost of £900.

Rugby Cycling Club formed.

Co-operative stores opened in Cross Street.

1884       Hospital of St Cross opened. Cost £17,000, the gift of Richard Henry Wood.

1885       Rugby Town and Trade Improvement Association founded.

Methodist Day School in Chapel Street relocates to a new building on another site in Chapel Street.

Freeman, Hardy and Willis, the boot and shoe retailer, opens in Market Place.

Arthur George Salter purchased Mrs Griffin’s menswear business in High Street; now known as Salters.

1886       The 3rd L&NWR station completed on current site; this site is 90 yards to the east of the 1840 station.

1887       Rupert Brooke, poet, was born at 5, Hillmorton Road.

                The number of gas lit street lamps had increased to 254.

1888       Upper storey added to St Andrew’s Caldecott School in Church Street.

1889       J Parriss, watchmaker, established at 26 Church Street; now in Regent Street

A clock tower was completed in Market Place to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and handed over to the Local Board in January.

A new St Matthews School was built for use by girls only. The 1852 school was then limited to boys.

1890       Police were provided with a hand cart ambulance, based at Plowman Street.

1891       Public Library opened on present site in a former school building, the gift of R.H.Wood.

                Rugby Corset Co. Ltd became R & W H Symington.

1893       A horse-drawn steam fire engine manufactured by the Fire Appliances Manufacturing Co. of Northampton,was added to the Voluntary Fire Brigade’s equipment.

1895       Rugby Urban District Council created, taking over the functions of the Rugby Local Board of Health.

                Benn School opened in Craven Road for up to 500 children.

Boots the Chemist established in High Street; now in Clock Towers shopping area.

Rugby Town and Trade Improvement Association was dissolved.

1896       Willans and Robinson Works established.

North-East Tower and Spire added to St Andrew's Church.

1898       Town’s first telephone exchange opened in Little Church Street by the National Telephone Company on January 6.

Salvation Army Citadel opened in Castle Street.

1899       Great Central Railway and Station in Hillmorton Road opens.

British Thomson-Houston Co. (BTH) buy theirfirst plot of land in Mill Road.

                Willans’ Works fully operational, later becoming English Electric, GEC and then Alstom.

                Rugby Police Station connected to the National Telephone Company’s exchange.

                The Fire Brigade moved to purpose-built premises in the Chapel Street yard of Rugby UDC.

1900       Rugby Urban District Council (Rugby UDC) offices moved from old Town Hall to newly built Benn Buildings in High Street on site of former ‘Shoulder of Mutton Inn’.

1901       New Post Office opened in Albert Street on February 17.

St Peter's Church opened in Clifton Road.

1902       BTH start production at Mill Road site, later becoming AEI, GEC, Alstom, Converteam and GE.

                A branch of the Midland Counties District Bank opened in Market Place.

1903       Rugby UDC created an Electricity Undertaking to supply electricity to the public using generators installed in the BTH factory power house.

Arnold High School founded in Elsee Road (later became Rugby High School).

Elborow Girls School moves to new premises in Wood Street, to become Wood Street Girls School.

1904       The first dedicated horse drawn ambulance in Rugby, the ‘Mary Wood’ Ambulance, becomes operational.

                Caldecott Park opened without ceremony.

1905       The County Police Station moved from Plowman Street to a new building in Railway Terrace.

Lloyds Bank moved to a new building on its present site at 14 Church Street.

1906       Rugby Baptist Church opens in St Andrew’s Street (later renamed Regent Place), replacing Gas Street Chapel.

1907       Princess Beatrice (wife of Prince Henry of Battenberg) opens the Children's Wing at St Cross.

1909       King Edward VII visits town to open Temple Speech Room at Rugby School.

1910       Palace Theatre (became “Vint’s Hippodrome” in September 1912) opened in Railway Terrace.

Indoor Swimming Baths opened in St Andrew’s Street (later renamed Regent Place).

The upper floor of the old Town Hall became Vint's Palace of Varieties.

1912       Ownership of the telephone system in Rugby was transferred from the National Telephone Company to the Post      Office on January 1st.

                A Museum was opened in the Library on 22 October so fulfilling Mr R H Wood’s wishes.

1913       The Empire “Cinema De Luxe” opened in Henry Street. It became the Scala in 1923.

1914       Great War begins August 4th.

                St Philips church opened in Wood Street.

1916       Lodge Plug factory built in St Peter's Road.

                The United Counties Bank,successor to the Midlands Counties District Bank in Market Place, was acquired by        Barclays Bank.

1918       Great War ends with an armistice on 11th November.

1919       Arnold High School taken over by the local authority.

1920       Rugby Day Continuation School founded in Lower Hillmorton Road on Rugby College site.

The Picture House cinema (later Regent and Century) opened in June in Bank Street.

Winston Churchill rented School Field, the home of H C Bradby, for the six week polo season.

Rugby Town Hall Company was wound up in August. The building was purchased by the International Promotion   Syndicate.

1921       New Bilton Methodist Mission opened in Lawford Road.

                Vint’s Palace of Varieties in the Town Hall building closed following severe fire damage.

                A Dennis motor pump was obtained by the Rugby Volunteer Fire Brigade in March.

1922       Woolworths opens in High Street in the old Town Hall building.

1923       Hippodrome Theatre in Railway Terrace renamed as the Prince of Wales.

                The Thomas Hunter railway carriage and wagon repair business is incorporated with limited liability.

Public electricity supply now received from the Leicestershire and Warwickshire Power Co, instead of from the generators in BTH Power House.

1925       Percival Guildhouse (adult education centre) founded in Matthew Bloxam's former house in St Matthews Street.

1927       Arnold High School for Girls moves to Clifton Road and is renamed as Rugby High School. 

The Rugby Freehold Land Society ceased to act as a Land Society and used its registered name of Rugby Benefit Building Society. About this time it became generally known as the Rugby Building Society.

1928       Cambell’s Coffee Tavern becomes the Corner House Restaurant and Hotel.

                The Day Continuation & the Technical and Art Schools merged as The Rugby College of Technology and Arts.

1929       The open air Avon Mill Swimming Pool opened in July.

Duchess of York opens the Out Patients’ Department at St Cross Hospital.

Mrs Edith Yates, widow of the late Harry Yates, on July 4th became the first woman to be elected as a councillor of                 the Rugby UDC.

1930       Rugby Town Silver Prize Band wins Daily Mirror Challenge Cup.

Duke of York (later King George VI) tours BTH Works.

Bennfield House in North Street demolished and site used to build a new Post Office.

The Picture House cinema (see 1920) was renamed as the Regent Cinema.

1932       Rugby Municipal Borough formed with Wednesday, 19th October being its Charter day.

Mary, the Princess Royal, opens the new Sun Pavilion at St Cross.

The Corner House Restaurant and Hotel was sold to the Rugby Gas Company for use as a showroom.

St Andrew’s Church House, Castle Street, (the former Baptist Church), was sold to Rugby Brotherhood in December.

Rugby High School’s new buildings were finally completed this year.

1933       The Prince of Wales re-opens as the Regal cinema. It eventually closed its doors in 1953.

Plaza cinema opened in North Street on Monday 30th January.

                The cabmen’s shelter in Market Place was removed.

1934       New water tower near Ashlawn Road brought into use.

The Albert Street Head Post Office and the Murray Road sorting office relocate to a new building in North Street on                5th March.

The Murray Road PO sorting office was closed.

                Church Street, Whitehall Road & part of Clifton Road were lighted by electric (mercury vapour) lamps.

                Rugby Rural District Council purchased 24, Warwick Street to provide it with office accommodation

1936       The first two pedestrian crossings in Rugby with ‘Belisha Beacons’ were installed in Church Street and Market Place.

                Post Office opens an automatic telephone exchange in Albert Street at corner of James Street on October 21replacing the manual exchange located in the former PO building elsewhere in Albert Street.

1937       Council Offices move from Benn Buildings to The Lawn in Newbold Road.

                Marks and Spencer move into the Benn Buildings.

                Rugby Borough Council agrees to one-way traffic in Sheep Street and High Street.

1938       The Voluntary Fire Brigade becomes a full time Municipal Brigade, a full time Chief Officer having been appointed in 1936

1939       Second World War begins on 3rd September.

1942       Duke of Kent inspects Civil Defence units at BTH and on School Close.

1944       Salvation Army Citadel moves to Bennfield Road.

1945       Second World War ends with surrender of Germany and Japan.

                Winston Churchill visits Rugby to campaign for the Conservative candidate, Lt Col John Lakin.

1946       The Scala cinema closes for the last time in June following a fire in the projection room.

                The Plaza Cinema was re-named as the Granada in May following its being taken over by the Granada Theatre chain in 1944.

1948       Warwickshire County Fire Brigade created.

                Rugby Workhouse infirmary transferred to the National Health Service & renamed St Lukes Hospital in 1949.

                Control of the electricity supply in Rugby was transferred from the RBC to East Midlands Electricity Board.

                Locomotive Testing Station opened at Rugby by British Railways.

1949       Rugby Theatre opens in the former Scala cinema in Henry Street. First production was on 5 December.

                The West Midlands Gas Board took over responsibility for supplying gas in Rugby from the Rugby Gas Company.

1951       Symington’s corset factory switched their manufacturing to modern underclothes.

                The RBC purchased the old St Andrew’s parish rectory in Little Church Street (built early 19th century). The house at 79 Clifton Road on the western corner of Grosvenor Road became the ‘new’ rectory.

1952       Johnny Williams (1926 – 2007) wins British and Empire Heavyweight boxing title.

1953       General Market moved from Market Place to Church Street.

                Clifton Mill railway station closed in April.

                The Rugby Provident Permanent Benefit Building Society becomes known as the Rugby Provident Building Society.

1954       William Temple College moved from Hawarden, N Wales to the old parish Rectory in Little Church Street. Its purpose was to promote theological and social studies. It relocated to Manchester Business School in 1971.

                The first traffic lights in Rugby were installed at the junction of Lawrence Sheriff Street and High Street.

1955       Royal George Hotel, in Market Place, demolished.

                St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church opened and dedicated in Hillmorton Road.

                Regent Cinema renamed as The Century.

1956       Valley Sports FC (VS Rugby), now Rugby Town, founded. First game, against Dunchurch Lodge was on September 8th.

1958       Newly built Corporation Street opened to traffic, as single carriageway.

                The national telephone system became Subscriber Trunk Dialling (STD) in December.

1959       Rugby twinned with Evreux in Normandy, France.

                Regular passenger services on the Rugby to Leamington line were withdrawn in June.

                The Sacred Heart RC parish in Bilton was established and a new church was opened in 1960.

1960       St Andrew’s Elborow School premises in Hill Street closed in July, following a merger with Wood Street School.

                Rugby became the sixth town to have the advantage of telephones with STD.

1961       Lawrence Sheriff Alms Houses move to Dunchurch Road.

Rugby High School opened its new buildings in Longrood Road, Bilton, on 4th May.

New Town Hall and Benn Memorial Hall opened by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on 5th July.

Lodge Plugs acquired by Smiths Industries.

The Century cinema closes its doors for the last time.

                Old Midland Counties Railway main line from Leicester closedat the year end.

1964       Duke of Edinburgh visits Smiths Industries (formerly Lodge Plugs).

                The Trent Valley line into Rugby was electrified in November.

1965       Rugby railway locomotive shed and testing station closed.

                Barclays Bank relocated from Market Place to 36 North Street.

                Corporation Street became a dual-carriageway.

                In December the first scheduled electric passenger train arrived at Rugby on its way to Liverpool.

                Rugby Portland Cement opens a 57 mile long pipeline bringing chalk slurry from Kensworth, near Dunstable, Bedfordshire, to Rugby.

1966       Rugby to Market Harborough railway line closed in June.

Original water tower in Barby Road (see 1852 entry) demolished.

Fire Station removed from Chapel Street to Corporation Street.

1967       Full electrification of the railway at Rugby completed.

                Queen Elizabeth II opens the Queen's Gates in Rugby School Close and tours the English Electric Works.

                Symingtons Corset Factory acquired by Courtaulds.

                The Rugby Building Society amalgamated with the Warwick and Warwickshire Permanent Benefit BS to become the Rugby and Warwick BS.

1969       Great Central Railway closed.  Services south of Rugby had ceased in 1966.

1970       Gas works in Wood Street closed on conversion of supply to natural gas.

1972       Rugby Day Continuation School closed, following the raising of school leaving age to 16.

Thomas Hunter Ltd was taken over by Ariel Industries Ltd.

1973       The Council decided in March that the open air Avon Mill swimming pool should be permanently closed.

                Indoor Swimming Baths in Regent Place closed and demolished the following year.

                Ken Marriott Sports Centre opens with new indoor swimming baths.

                Post codes were introduced in July for each postal address.

                The Market Place & Sheep Street street market was removed to Church Street on April 20th.

1974       Rugby Municipal Borough and Rural District Councils combine to form the present Rugby District Borough.

                The Rugby & Warwick BS merged with the Walsall Mutual BS to become the Heart of England Building Society.

                The Grand Hotel, Albert Street, closed on September 16th.

1975       Congregational Church in Albert Street closed on merger with St Margaret’s Presbyterian Church in Hillmorton Road to form the Rugby United Reformed Church.

                New Police Station and Magistrates Court completed in Newbold Road.

                Rugby Hindu Temple, Kimberley Road, was formally opened in July.

1976       Granada cinema closed, later reopened as a bingo hall.

1977       Rugby twinned with Russelsheim, Germany.

                The Rugby Ambulance Station was removed to Brownsover Lane in July.

1979       New indoor shopping precinct (Clock Towers) opened in town centre.

1980       The James Gilbert Rugby Football Museum (now the Webb Ellis Museum) opens in Gilbert’s premises, St Matthews Street.

1981       Gyratory system opened in January, work having started in 1979.

Market Place Methodist Church sold off and demolished.

1982       High Street and Sheep Street were pedestrianised.

1983       Holy Trinity Church closed and demolished.

Rugby Provident Building Society merges with Hinckley Permanent Building Society to create Hinkley and Rugby Building Society.

VS Rugby wins the FA Vase at Wembley Stadium, beating Halesowen 1-0.

Post Office returns to the site of the 1901 building in Albert Street in April.

1984       The Methodist Church Centre built in Russelsheim Way, replacing the Methodist churches in Market Place, Railway Terrace & New Bilton. The Cambridge Street Methodists joined them shortly afterwards.

                Wood Street gas works site cleared for re-development.

1985       The remainder of the Rugby to Leamington Railway closed in July, when freight services to the Southam Works of Rugby Portland Cement ceased, the section between Marton Junction and Leamington having been closed in 1966.

1988       Diana, Princess of Wales visits Herbert Gray College, the HQ of the Marriage Guidance Council (now Relate).

Rupert Brooke statue in Regent Place unveiled.

1991       Rugby hosts launch of 2nd Rugby World Cup with ceremony and re-enactment on Rugby School Close.

1992       Symington’s Corset factory closed down (had by then been making swim suits).

                Morgan Matroc takes over Smiths Industries Ceramics in St Peters Road.

                St Peter’s Church merged with St John’s Church of Cambridge Street, to form St Peter and St John’s Church.

1993       Diana, Princess of Wales visits Bosnian refugees at Fawsley House in Hillmorton Road.

                St Luke’s Hospital closes for patients and for the remaining NHS services in 1994.

                The Heart of England BS acquired by the Cheltenham & Gloucester BS.

1995       A large residential development gets under way at Cawston.

                The Cheltenham & Gloucester is converted to a public limited company as part of the Lloyds Bank Group.

1997       Rugby Public Library closes its original buildings and moves to temporary buildings near Chapel Street.

William Webb Ellis statue unveiled outside Rugby Schoolby Jeremy Guscott in September.

2000       Rugby Library, Museum and Art Gallery open in new £3.5M building.

                New awnings replace the single, overall roof at Rugby Station.

                RMC Group (formerly Ready Mixed Concrete Ltd) acquired the cement activities of the Rugby Group plc.

                The new Rugby cement works was fully commissioned in July.

2001       The Cineworld Cinema (9 screens) opened in the Junction One Leisure Park on 21 February.

2002       Mill Road water works closed; water treatment plant moved to Draycote.

                Rugby Myton Day Hospice opens in grounds of St Cross Hospital.

                Rugby FM Radio station starts its transmission from Spring Street Studios.

                Grays International purchases the Gilbert rugby football and netball business.

2003       Rugby College merges with the larger Warwickshire College.

                St Philip’s Church closed in May.

2005       Morgan Technical Ceramics (formerly Smith Industries Ceramics) relocates to Central Park by J1 of M6 motorway and the St Peter’s Road site sold for housing development.

                Cemex completes the acquisition of Rugby Cement from RMC in March.

2008       Rugby Station development completed with new platforms and booking hall.

                Cattle Market moves to Stoneleigh and Craven Road site sold for development.

                Herbert Gray College, national headqarters of Relate charity, relocated to Doncaster

2009       ASDA supermarket and Swan Court area opens.

Blue Bin comprehensive refuse recycling scheme was introduced by the Rugby Borough Council.

                Caldecott Park refurbished under Heritage Lottery Fund scheme.

                Woolworths’ High Street store closes following liquidation of the company.

2010       Rugby Western Relief Road opens throughout on September 10th. Construction had started in 2007.

                Warwickshire College, Rugby, relocates to Technology Driveon former BTH site.

2012          Former Granada Cinema in North Street demolished.

St Matthew’s Church in Warwick Street was closed and merged with St Oswald’s Church, New Bilton.

                The former St Philip’s Church is reopened by the Rugby United Pentecostal Church.

                The former Rugby College site in Lower Hillmorton Road was cleared for re-development.

2013       The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Leisure Centre opened in August replacing the Ken Marriott Leisure Centre.

                The Rugby Ambulance Station in Brownsover Lane closed in November.

                The engagements of the Cheltenham & Gloucester were transferred to the TSB.

2014       Rainsbrook Crematorium and Cemetery, Ashlawn Road, was completed in March.

2015       Marks and Spencer relocates its store to the Elliott’s Fields Retail Park.

2016       Salter’s menswear business in the High Street closed. The hire part of the business continues elsewhere in Rugby.

                World Rugby, Hall of Fame opens in the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum.

 

 
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Doomsday Book

Domesday Book Entry
An initial interpretation of the Domesday entry for "Rocheberie" would be :-
The Manor of Rugby was one of the estates of Thorkell of Warwick but was rented out to Edwulf for 50s ( £2.50 ) per year. Before the conquest the manor was held by Edwin and had been worth 40s ( £2.00 ) per year.

The manor was 2.5 hides with 6 plough lands. There was 16 acres of meadow and a mill for which the miller had to pay 13s 4d ( 67p ) per year in rent.

The manor farm worked 1 plough with 2 slaves working it. The rest of the manor was farmed by 11 villagers and 5 smallholders operating 5 ploughs.

At first sight this appears to give us the size of the manor, the amount of arable land and a population. However the Domesday Book was a tax return not a census and it's not that simple. Historians do not know the actual definitions of many of the terms used but careful analysis and comparison with other records has provided some clues.

Both the hide and the plough land are nominal units for tax assessment. The hide was the traditional Anglo-Saxon unit, the ploughland was an attempted replacement. Although both were nominally an area of arable land the assessment was adjusted depending on the population and the fertility of the soil.

The numbers of ploughs operated by the manor and villagers is probably the actual draught animals available converted to standard 8 oxen teams. Not the number of actual ploughs.

The numbers of villagers mentioned will be the heads of family who had tenancy agreements with the manor for land in the open fields. Each person may represent a large extended family with several generations.

The entry does not imply anything about the settlement of Rugby as anything owned by the manor will be included. In some places it has been proved that the entry includes land and people outside the modern parish, however this is probably not the case for Rugby.

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Industrial Town - From 1836 to now

Until the arrival of the canals in the 1770's the Rugby area was rural with only traditional village industries such as corn milling and blacksmithing. Rugby was not big enough to support any of the agricultural engineering industries that existed in larger market towns. The area's limestone and gravel was probably exploited on a small scale for local use. The lime industry developed once the canal could bring in fuel and distribute the burnt lime to a large area. Some firms converted to the new cement products in the mid 19th century.

Rugby got into the railway age early, being on the first trunk main line, that between London and Birmingham. Building started in 1835 and the line was opened in 1838. When the line to Nottingham and Derby opened in 1840 Rugby became the major junction of the period. Although the effect on the town was significant, because of the numbers of railway workers moving here, other industries were slow to arrive. During the 1890's railway locomotive and wagon engineering facilities were developed, both by the LNWR and by Thomas Hunter's.

The railway let the cement industry expand further and as the town grew a local brick industry developed. Also sand and gravel extraction on a major scale started. The brick industry has died out but sand and gravel extraction continues. The cattle market grew rapidly once the station gave an advantage over the traditional local markets.

Although some factories were developed in the 1880's employing local women it was the turn of the century before heavy industry arrived. The new industry developed the new technology - electricity -which had only started in general use in the late 1870's. Willans and Robinson were the first to arrive in 1899 to build high speed reciprocating steam engines to drive electric generators.

The British Thomson-Houston Company built their works in Mill Road in 1902 making electric motors and generators. They started making turbines in 1904, about the same time as the Willans and were in competition for 65 years. The rivals became united within GEC in 1969.

The first half of this century saw the development of other new technologies. Lodge Plugs moved to Eastlands in 1916 and around the 2nd World War the Rootes Plant at Ryton and the Rolls-Royce works at Ansty were built.

The last 30 years has seen another transport led influx as Rugby again became an important junction - this time for the motorway network. This development has been and continues to be to the north, near the motorways, and has not affected the town itself. However the decline of town centre industry has meant that many old industrial sites have been redeveloped, often for housing.

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Medieval Market Town - From 1100 to 1836

Market Town

While Rugby is mentioned in the Domesday Book the form of the settlement at that date is not known for certain. However most midlands villages had evolved open fields around a single central settlement by the end of the 11th century.

The large open market place may be very old but the row of uniform plots along the east side of High Street suggests an element of planned urban development by the Lord of the Manor. Laying out market places was popular in the 11th century and a market would have been well developed before the Lord of the Manor invested in obtaining the market charter in 1255.

Sometime in the mid 13th century the manor house moved from south of the church to near where Regents Place is now. The new house was moated, which was the fashion in that period. The old site became the rectory.

The Manor

The manor of Rugby was treated as being worth a half of a knight's fee. It was part of the Earl of Warwick's lands from before 1086 to around 1500. In 1086 the manor was held from the Earl by Edwulf and his family remained Lords of the Manor until about 1310. The line included the two Henry de Rokebys who probably developed the market. The first Henry also split up the manor by leaving 200 acres of the fields to Pipewell Abbey and this land remained separate until 1720.

When the granddaughter of the second Henry de Rokeby married, the tenancy of the manor was passed to the Gobaud family as part of the dowry. They obtained the right of frankpledge in 1327 before selling the tenancy to the Earl of Stafford in 1349.

The manor was passed between various members of the Stafford family. In 1421 it was given to a nephew, the son of the Duke of Buckingham. The Buckingham branch of the Staffords got into trouble with the law and forfeited their lands to the crown around 1500. They lost all interest in the manor of Rugby when the third duke was executed in 1521.

The crown then granted the manor to Sir Gilbert Talboys and by 1556 it had passed by marriage settlement to Ambrose Dudley, later Earl of Warwick. However in 1560 he sold the rights to the Wyrley family

The Church

Rugby did not have a priest in 1086. The church at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore served as the mother church for quite a large area. A chapel of ease had been built by 1140 and the names of a Deacon is known from 1220. Rugby probably became an independent parish about this time.

 

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Prehistory to c1100 A.D.

Prehistory

Our knowledge of prehistoric Rugby is very sketchy. Only one bronze age dagger has been found in the town itself. Due to the spread of the town much of the archaeology has been lost. However a general picture can be constructed.

The present town is on the top of a sandy ridge between Dunsmore Heath to the west and Hillmorton in the east. Both north and south of the ridge are river valleys. Early ploughs could not cope with heavy clay, so settlement concentrated on lighter soils making Dunsmore Heath and the Avon Valley ideal areas. Settlement consisted of isolated farms and small hamlets within a system of fields. Villages did not exist.

Several crop marks are known between Rugby and Coventry showing the area was settled. They are concentrated on Church Lawford and Long Lawford and consist of circular and rectangular enclosures and rows of pits in straight lines. The marks can not be dated without excavation and the function of the rows of pits is not certain.

Roman Period

When the Romans arrived the Fosse Way and Watling Street roads were built and the settlement at Tripontium created. For the first few decades the Fosse Way was the frontier of the Roman Empire and the area would have been under military rule. Once the army moved north government was from the local civitas capital. Tripontium started as a mansio, a stopping point for official messengers where they could rest, eat and change horses. Later it developed into a small town. About 300, a small fort was built beside the town, one of a series along Watling Street.

The 19th Century antiquarians of Rugby thought that a number of Iron Age defended sites faced each other across the river valley. However most of the earth works are now thought to have been medieval. Archaeologists are uncertain of the names of Iron Age tribes, let alone where the boundaries were. An inscription on a tile from Tripontium says it was made in the 'Civitas corieltavvorum' - the area of the Corieltauvi (or Coritani ). The capital of that area was Leicester. However Rugby was in the border area with the Dobunni to the south west and the Catuvellauni to the south east.

No other Roman style buildings are known in the area. The Rugby area was on the north west edge of the area where villas were built. The local people would have continued living in isolated round hut farmsteads as before.

The Saxons

Although the Roman Army units were withdrawn around 405, that was not the end of the Roman system in Britain. While the area around Bath remained Roman into the late part of the century the fate of the rest of Britain is very unclear. Famine caused the population to drop before anyone was displaced by the Saxon settlers moving west.

By 425 the Saxons had moved west from Cambridge into the southern part of the Avon valley. By the 620's what is now known as North Warwickshire was probably part of the original area of the kingdom of Mercia. The capital of the kingdom was at Tamworth and it latter expanded to control most of central England.

There are some pagan period Saxon burials in the Rugby area but not enough to suggest a large population. Place name evidence also suggests that a significant British population survived in the area. Both the Avon and Leam river names are Celtic words and the place name of Exhall north of Coventry suggests a British Christian church may have continued in use. The now lost hamlet of Walcote in Grandborough suggests that Welsh was spoken there until well after 700.

The Vikings

The Viking raids from Denmark had occurred for many years when in 865 a significant army landed and remained in England over the winter. The English response was not organised and the Danes gained control of most of northern and eastern England. When Alfred became king of Wessex in 871 he mounted a counter attack and in 886 agreed a treaty with Danes. This treaty fixed the boundary between England and the Danelaw as the Rivers Thames, Lea and Ouse to Watling Street and then north up Watling Street.

The treaty placed Rugby in England but Danish settlement had already spilled down the Trent valley into this area. A number of true Danish place-names ending in -by (village), -thorpe (hamlet) and -toft (homestead) were formed. However a number of places have had their names corrupted to Danish spelling in later years. Rugby is the prime case of this, the berie of the Domesday Book spelling being a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon -bury, a defended place. Several of the -thorp names are possibly corruptions of the Anglo-Saxon -throp which also meant hamlet.

Studies in Lincolnshire have suggested that settlements with Danish names occupy less desirable land in gaps between the Anglo-Saxon named settlements which are on the more desirable sites. This points to an influx of Danish speaking population needing space to live. As the timescales are short - only a couple of generations - a migration of civilians from Denmark behind the army is the most likely explanation.

The English continued to fight the Danes and by about 920 had regained control of the whole area south of the Humber. It was shortly after this that the Wessex system of shires was extended to the Midlands. The new areas did not respect the old Mercian system of administration. Many of the new shire towns, including Warwick, were probably very small and possibly only a defended fortlet - a burgh. Warwickshire was formed from old Mercian land, Northamptonshire was probably land recovered from the Danes quite soon after 887 while Leicestershire was a Danish area where their customs and methods had become entrenched.

There is almost no surviving Anglo-Saxon documentation for the Rugby area. So we have no direct evidence for the arrangements of the manors or the settlements. However studies of other areas suggest that the manors would have covered the same areas as the later parishes and that the settlements would still have been individual farmsteads and hamlets spread throughout the area. Clifton-on-Dunsmore had religious control of the area until the 13th century and this may have reflected an earlier role controlling a group of manors held by the same person.

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