Rugby School

We went off to Rugby in search of the spirit of Thomas Arnold.   Unfortunately, we should have checked to discover that the school term ended yesterday, so everything was very shut up, with no tours available.   However, we were able to see Butterfield’s New Schools with his characteristic muscular polychromy (Butterfield was originally hired by the head boy in 1859 to design the raquets courts):-

Along the street was another building which was said by a passing master also to be by Butterfield:-

We glimpsed the school chapel across the playing fields:-

And penetrated far enough to see the inside of New Quad, as well as the grandly gloomy interior of the chapel, full of plaques commemorating ordained schoolmasters:-

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3 thoughts on “Rugby School

  1. Dick Humphreys says:

    Wyndham Lewis was at Rugby – he remembered it, of course, as a hearty and philistine place. A boy entered his room on one occasion to find Lewis drawing and immediately left in horror, calling him a ‘frightful artist!’ No doubt that inspired Lewis.

  2. It IS sporty still but the spirit of Arnold continues to break through: it had a wonderful Headteacher in the 1980s, Brian Rees, son-in-law of Robert Birley. Northern, Working Class, a brilliant historian and excellent musician, who adapted Aristophenes’s THE BIRDS as a musical, with book and libretto by John Wells. Sadly he died last year.

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