Historic Rugby

Christ Church Episcopal


Victorian England in the Tennessee Cumberlands

In 1880, Rugby's British founder called it a lovely corner of God's earth…In this century, writers call it a town of cultured ghosts and Utopia in the . The National Trust calls it one of the most authentically preserved historic villages in America.

"The world watched in 1880 as famous British author, statesman and social reformer Thomas Hughes dedicated America's Rugby. It was to be a cooperative, class-free society where Britain's younger sons of gentry--and artisans, tradesman and farming families--could build a new community through agriculture, temperance and high Christian principles."

Rugby today is a heritage treasure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972. In a rugged river gorge setting, little changed by 20th century technology, this would-be Utopia survives. More than twenty of its decorative, gabled buildings remain. Rugby's British and Appalachian heritage is visible everywhere.

When You Visit

Stop at the old schoolhouse where exhibits trace a century of Rugby history. Tour Victorian buildings. Wander on river gorge trails built by 1880's colonists. Shop for unusual books and traditional handicrafts in historic settings.

Open Daily For Tours

Christ Church Episcopal, 1887, with its original hanging lamps and 1849 rosewood organ, still played for services every Sunday;

Thomas Hughes Library, 1882, literally unchanged since the doors opened with its 7,000 volumes of Victorian literature;

Kingstone Lisle, 1884, the graceful rural Gothic cottage built for Rugby's founder;

Schoolhouse Visitor Centre, with exhibits and artifacts that take you from Rugby's founding to today's renaissance.

1997 General Admission: $4.00 Adults, $2.00 Students, $1.00 Scott, Morgan & Fentress County Students. Reduced Rates for Groups.

Museum Shops, Specialty Dining and Lodging

Rugby Craft Commissary and Board of Aid Bookshop, open all year.

Harrow Road Café with traditional and local fare.

1880 Newbury House Bed & Breakfast, authentically restored and Victorian-furnished.

Year Round Special Events

Reaching Rugby

Historic Rugby is on State Hwy. 52, in East Tennessee; 35 miles from both I-75 (Exit 141) and I-40 (Exit 300); adjacent to the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.

Additional Information:

Write Historic Rugby, P.O. Box 8, Hwy.52, Rugby, Tennessee, 37733 or call (865) 628-2441

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Information for this page was obtained from the Rugby brochure and HistoricRugby.org