Rugby is a settlement in Morgan County, Tennessee which has a population of around 85. It is situated at 36° 21' north 84° 42' west.
Rugby is about 15km ESE of Jamestown and 30km SW of Oneida. It is about 90km NW of Knoxville. It lies at the junction of three counties and part of it is in Scott County, Tennessee.
The settlement was founded in 1880 by British author Thomas Hughes, who was most famous for writing the novel Tom Brown's School Days. It was named for Rugby, England where Hughes had attended Rugby School, the institution which furnishes the setting for the book.
Rugby was set up in part as a community for the younger sons of the English gentry, because they were not the oldest, would inherit little or no property. Rugby was an experiment in utopian living, although the settlement only flourished for a short while. About half the original buildings, many in Ruskinian gothic revival style, survive and have been restored.
Today, the area's natural beauty, historic architecture, and seasonal festivals attract a brisk tourist trade. A program to repopulate the town to something like its peak of 200-300 residents has also been begun, with a limited amount of new residential construction being permitted.
Web Sites and Links
Historic Rugby, TennesseeComprehensive information from the organization maintaining and promoting this relic of Victorian England in the Tennessee Cumberlands. Events schedule, history, lodging, dining, other visitor information, real estate information, and other topics.
Rugby, TennesseePhotos and information for visitors to the historic English settlement.