Dunchurch

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This article is about the village in England. For the community in Ontario, see Dunchurch, Ontario.

Coordinates: 52°20′12″N 1°17′23″W / 52.33675°N 1.28961°W / 52.33675; -1.28961

Dunchurch
Dunchurch -Rugby Rd -statue-29Oct09.JPG
Daventry Road and the Square viewed from Rugby Road in the village centre
Dunchurch is located in Warwickshire
Dunchurch
Dunchurch
 Dunchurch shown within Warwickshire
Population 2,842 
OS grid reference SP485712
Civil parish Dunchurch
District Rugby
Shire county Warwickshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town RUGBY
Postcode district CV23
Dialling code 01788
Police Warwickshire
Fire Warwickshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament Kenilworth and Southam
List of places
UK
England
Warwickshire

Dunchurch is a civil parish and village on the south-western outskirts of Rugby in Warwickshire, England. The 2001 census recorded a population of 2,842 in the village.

History[edit]

The earliest historical reference to Dunchurch was in the Domesday Book in the 11th century which mentioned a settlement called Doncerce.

The core of the village has been declared a conservation area because it has many buildings of historical interest. Some of the buildings date from as far back as the 15th century[citation needed] are timber framed and still have traditional thatch roofs.

For centuries Dunchurch was an important staging post on the coaching roads between London and Holyhead (now the A45 road) (classified as B4429 through the village) and Oxford and Leicester (now the A426 road). At one point 40 stagecoaches plus the regular mail coach every day would stop at Dunchurch. Coaching inns developed in Dunchurch to accommodate these visitors (the "Dun Cow", the "Bell" and "the Star"). Other inns were the "Mother Red Cap", "Crown" and "Red Lion". The "Bell" and "Red Lion" premises were destroyed by German high explosive bombs in November 1940. All other properties can still be seen today.

Guy Fawkes House

Many famous people throughout history stayed at Dunchurch. Most notably in 1605, the Gunpowder Plotters stayed at the Red Lion Inn (reputed to be the private residence now called 'Guy Fawkes House') in Dunchurch awaiting news of Guy Fawkes's attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament. If he had been successful they planned to kidnap the King's daughter Elizabeth of Bohemia from nearby Coombe Abbey.

Other famous people having stayed in the village include a young Queen Victoria (before she became Queen) and the Duke of Wellington. Robert Stephenson stayed in Dunchurch whilst supervising the construction of the Kilsby Tunnel during the building of the London and Birmingham Railway.

Dunchurch is the birthplace of the 18th century hymnwriter William Tans'ur, and in more recent times of the athlete Katharine Merry. For many years it was the home of England cricketer Ian Bell.

The coming of the railways in the 1840s led to a dramatic decline in the coaching trade, and with the development of a major junction at nearby Rugby the importance of Dunchurch rapidly declined. From 1871 until 1964 the village was served by its own railway station on the Rugby to Leamington Spa line.

Education[edit]

There are three schools in the area: Dunchurch Infant and Nursery School (School Street), Dunchurch Boughton C of E Junior School (Dew Close) and Bilton Grange Preparatory School (Rugby Road).

Religion[edit]

There are three churches in the village: St Peter's (Church of England) in the centre, a Methodist chapel in Cawston Lane and a Baptist church on the outskirts of the village on the Coventry road.

Culture[edit]

The village has a sportsfield on Rugby Road donated to the village by Baron Waring in the 1920s. Currently Dunchurch & Bilton Cricket Club play in the summer months and Dunchurch Football Club play in the winter. Cricket has been played on the land since the 1800s. In 1999 Dunchurch Cricket Club merged with Bilton Cricket Club to form Dunchurch & Bilton Cricket Club.

Other groups in the village include: Dunchurch Silver Band, District of Dunchurch Brass, Dunchurch Festival Group, Guides, Dunchurch Health Walks, Scouts, Mothers' Union, Photographic Club, St. Peter's Bell Ringers, Dunchurch Twinning Association, Dunchurch and Thurlaston Women's Institute, Working Men's Club.

Statue[edit]

Statue of Lord John Douglas Montagu Douglas Scott

In the centre of Dunchurch is a statue of Lord John Douglas Montague Scott (1809–1860) a 19th-century landlord, Scottish M.P. and younger brother of the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. The statue is by the Victorian sculptor Joseph Durham A.R.A..

At Christmas, it has been an annual tradition for a group of pranksters to secretly dress up the statue in the garb of a cartoon or TV character overnight. They have done this every Christmas for more than 30 years, More recently the statue was dressed up as an Olympian for the final leg of the Olympic torch relay sporting a headband and runners jersey.[1]

The statue was dressed up as Queen Elizabeth II during her diamond jubilee weekend celebrations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pranksters hit Dunchurch with Homer Simpson statue". Coventry News. Retrieved 2012-10-23. 

External links[edit]