Daily Site Admission & Hours of Operation:
Come to the new Visitor Centre & Theatre for site admission which includes Mural and Power of a Dream film, historic exhibits, village map and guided interpretive tour of Christ Church Episcopal, Kingstone Lisle, Thomas Hughes Library, and Schoolhouse Exhibits.
Time stands still at Rugby, Tennessee - the restored Victorian village founded in 1880 by British author and social reformer, Thomas Hughes. It was to be a cooperative, class-free, agricultural community for younger sons of English gentry and others wishing to start life anew in America. At its peak in the mid-1880s, some 300 people lived in the colony. More than 65 buildings of Victorian design graced the townscape on East Tennessee's beautiful Cumberland Plateau.
This would-be Utopia survives today as both a living community and a fascinating public historic site, unspoiled by modern development. Twenty original buildings still stand, nestled between the Big South Fork National Recreation Area and the Rugby State Natural Area, surrounded by rugged river gorges and historic trails. Historic Rugby has been open to the public since 1966 and is nationally recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and many others as one of the most authentically restored and preserved communities in America.
"There is this lovely corner of God's earth which has been intrusted to us. What, as a community, is our first duty with regard to it? There can be no hesitation about the answer. It is to treat it lovingly and reverently. We can add little, perhaps, to its natural beauty, but at least we can be careful to spoil it as little as possible." - Thomas Hughes’ Opening Day Speech - Oct. 5, 1880
Historic Rugby Lodging - A Special Experience
Step back into Victorian times at restored Newbury House Bed and Breakfast, built in 1880 as the first boarding house in the Rugby colony. It has six Victorian-furnished bedrooms, four with private baths and two sharing a large bath in the hall.