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Daventry Road and the Square viewed from Rugby Road in the village centre
|Dunchurch shown within Warwickshire|
|OS grid reference|
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Dunchurch is a civil parish and village on the south-western outskirts of Rugby in Warwickshire, England. The 2001 census[update] recorded a population of 2,842 in the village, increasing to 2938 at the 2011 Census.
The earliest historical reference to Dunchurch was in the Domesday Book in the 11th century which mentioned a settlement called Doncerce.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 to the 15th century 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 and 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.
Many notable people have 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 well known people who have stayed in the village include the young Queen Victoria (before she became Queen) and the Duke of Wellington. Robert Stephenson stayed in Dunchurch when supervising the construction of the Kilsby Tunnel during the building of the London and Birmingham Railway.
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.
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).
St Peter's, dating from the 12th century, is a grade II* listed building.
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. The changing rooms for the pitches are found adjacent to the village hall which was opened in 2003. There is a large main hall which can seat up to 160 people as well as a smaller sports room. Both have attached kitchens.
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.
In the centre of Dunchurch is a statue of Lord John Douglas Montagu 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.
The statue was dressed up as Queen Elizabeth II during her diamond jubilee weekend celebrations.
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 27 December 2015.
- Long, George; Porter, George R. (1850). The Geography of Great Britain: England and Wales. Baldwin. p. 320.
- "Bilton Grange". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- Historic England. "Church of St Peter (1185418)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- Village hall website
- "Dunchurch Silver Band". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
- "Pranksters hit Dunchurch with Homer Simpson statue". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 29 July 2015.[permanent dead link]
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dunchurch.|
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- Lord of the Manor of Dunchurch
- Dunchurch Festival Group notices, etc.
- Dunchurch Parish Council
- Dunchurch Parish Council Papers
- Dunchurch Village Hall
- Dunchurch St. Peter's Church – C. of E.
- Dunchurch Baptist Church
- District of Dunchurch Brass
- Dunchurch and Bilton Cricket Club
- Dunchurch Photographic Society
- Dunchurch 1700–1950
- Dunchurch Boughton CofE (VA) Junior School website
- Photos of Dunchurch and surrounding area on geograph