I had to visit Rugby today and had a chance to walk round the town to look at the architecture.
First we have Crown House – a fine example of the delights of 1960’s building.
Luckily Rugby has a lot more to offer – starting with Rugby School. I didn’t really see much but the Edwardian Grade II listed Temple Speech Room was unusual. It is named after former Head Master of Rugby and Archbishop of Canterbury Frederick Temple (1858–69) and is now used for whole-School assemblies and Speech Days.
The chapel was impressive. It was designed by the well-known Victorian Gothic revival architect William Butterfield in 1875. The style is described as polychromatic Gothic.
Just along from the chapel is a statue commemorating William Webb Ellis (1806 – 72) the English Anglican clergyman who has gone down in folklore as the founder of the game of Rugby Football while a pupil at Rugby School.
The bronze plaque says: 'THE LOCAL BOY WHO INSPIRED / THE GAME OF RUGBY FOOTBALL / ON THE CLOSE AT RUGBY SCHOOL IN / 1823. / SCULPTOR: GRAHAM IBBSEON / 1997'
The Parish church of St Andrew’s is famous (and unique ?) for having two towers each with a peel of bells - The older set of five bells are hung in the West Tower which dates from about 1350.These bells were cast in 1711 by Joseph Smith of Edgbaston. They are hung in a frame which dates from about 1620. In 1929 they were rehung by John Taylor and Co. of Loughborough. The church was rebuilt in its present form by William Butterfield in 1877–9. The North East Tower was built in 1895-6 as the final stage of the rebuilding. It contains 8 bells.
The most impressive building I visited in company with my excellent guide (JPHF) was The Merchant’s Inn. According to their website since opening at Easter 2002 they have sold over 2000 different Ales! This has led to numerous awards including Warwickshire Pub of The Year (2003 & 2007), Rugby CAMRA Pub Of The Year (2003, 2006 & 2007). Well worth a visit. http://www.merchantsinn.co.uk/
On the corner of Henry Street and Regent Street is an owl – I would be interested in its history.