A lovely picturesque village that stands four miles south of Rugby. Dunchurch has won and been runner-up on many occasion in the 'best kept village' competition. It is situated on the main road from London to Coventry and Birmingham, where it is crossed by the road that runs from Southam to Rugby.
The Domesday book compiled in 1086 called the village DONE_CERCE. The place names society volume for Warwickshire suggests that 'done' is a man's name presumably that of the builder of the first church on the site. Later when this was forgotten people slipped into calling the village 'dune' being the saxon word for hill- 'the church on the hill'.
Dunchurch was only about a third smaller than Rugby in 1801, and also in 1730 if the numbers of houses given in Thomas's edition of Dugdale are correct. In 1332 there were only 16 tax-payers in Rugby against 35 in Dunchurch and Thurlaston.
Licence was given in 1607-8 for a market and with its favourable position as a road centre, Dunchurch may have developed into an important town if Rugby had not became the centre in the railway age. To this day milestones on the main roads give distances to Dunchurch,
Famous natives of Dunchurch include William Tans'ur or Tanzer (1699?-1783), psalmodist, some of whose hymn tunes are still sung. His parents were Dunchurch people, and he was baptized here (aged 6), but he may have been born at Barnes (Surrey).
White mentions a farmer named Thomas Maycock who, though accidentally blinded by Rugby schoolboys, 'is extremely ingenious; has, since he lost his sight, erected several buildings, invented and made improvements in agricultural implements . . . is said to be one of the best judges of corn and cattle; and has taught reading, writing and music'.
Thomas Newcombe (1627-81), king's printer to Charles II; his son (died 1691) left money to build almshouses in the village. The almshouses were built around 1780 for spinsters of Dunchurch & Thurlaston. They are now small private residences occupied still today by widows from the village.
Thomas, by will dated 2 March 1690, gave £600 to trustees to purchase some ground as near to the church and to the open street of Dunchurch as they could, and thereupon to build six almshouses for as many poor men or widows being born in and inhabitants of the parish. He desired that the rest of the money after finishing the almshouses should be laid out in the purchase of land, and the rents and profits thereof be divided each year equally among the alms-people.
It is also the birthplace of the athlete Katharine Merry, and was the home for England cricketer Ian Bell for many years.
Open all the time
SP 502755 52.37524 -1.26401
Close to Draycote water.
2 miles south of Rugby
1 mile from the M45.
There are many buses running from Rugby including the 64 (daily) and the 580 (Mon to sat).
: 3 miles from Rugby station
- Cash Point
- Coach parties accepted
- Disabled access
- Gift shop
- Telephone (public)