Tour historic 19th century buildings (including a stunning 7,000-volume library) and learn how English gentry founded the Rugby colony as a utopian community based on hard work, cooperation, and compassion for others.
Dine at the Harrow Road Café, with its delightful English and American dishes. Shop for one-of-a-kind treasures at our Commissary and village shops. Hike in pristine wilderness (there are 10 trails leading from the village centre to The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and The Rugby State Natural area. Stay in historic lodging decorated in period furniture. Or just relax and enjoy the peaceful magic of our little village.
Historic Rugby has been open to the public since 1966 and is nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Today, Rugby is a living village, home to artists, scientists, craftspeople, and other fascinating folks.
Experience Historic Rugby for yourself. It is stunningly beautiful, delightfully peaceful, and surprisingly restorative. People fall in love with this village.
Discover Rugby’s Unique History.
Historic Rugby was founded in 1880, as a British colony in the United States. Thomas Hughes, a best-selling author (Tom Brown’s School Days) and social reformer, financed the Rugby colony so England’s second sons (who typically inherited nothing) could move to America, acquire land, and get a fresh start.
Hughes’ utopian community captured the imagination of people around the world. Learn more about Rugby through our award-winning film, plus tour four historic buildings: the Hughes Library, Christ Church Episcopal, Kingstone Lisle (Hughes’ private home) and the Rugby schoolhouse/museum.
Explore Stunningly Beautiful Wilderness.
Rugby is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. We are surrounded by the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area and the Rugby State Natural Area. So there are 10 hiking trails to explore, starting from the center of the Village. A favorite: The “Gentleman’s Swimming Hole,” where you can hike and swim in the Clear Fork River.
Dine On British And American Favorites.
After your adventures, stop in at The Harrow Road Café for Fish and Chips and other British fare, or enjoy an All-American favorites. There are daily specials, a full bar with cocktails, wine, and ales, and fabulous desserts.
Shop—And Help Support Appalachian Artists.
Historic Rugby’s mission includes supporting local artists and craftspeople, and giving them a venue in which to sell their goods.
Our Commissary offers a spectrum of art, jewelry, crafts, tools, toys, and outdoor gear. Other shops (The Spirit of Red Hill, Please Be Seated, and Missions Matter) offer art, antiques, oddities, chairs, and fair-trade crafts from around the world.
The shops in Historic Rugby offer items you won’t find anywhere else. And they provide memories you can cherish forever.
Stay In Beautifully Preserved Historic Housing.
Historic Rugby operates housing in historic buildings that have welcomed lodgers since 1880. Pioneer Cottage is the first frame building in Rugby. Newbury House features Victorian décor and has five guest rooms and a master suite. Percy Cottage, a re-creation, is a favorite for honeymooners and small retreats.
Or Just Relax. Rugby Lets You.
Many people who come to Rugby are delighted by the peacefulness of our village. And it’s a great place to get away from it all. There are few distractions, and if you just want to take it easy, this is a beautiful place to do it.
Special Events From March-December
Historic Rugby hosts dozens of events throughout the year, including seasonal festivals, car shows, craft fairs and workshops, guided hikes, music, writer’s series talks, sporting events, and many more.
For a complete list, click here